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Amazing yet frustrating Barnes Collection in Philadelphia

The Postman, Vincent van Gogh, 1889; one of the first works to enter Albert Barnes's collection, Van Gogh turns an ordinary salt-and-pepper beard into a brilliant ocean of color; thick licks of paint—green, black, purple, red—curl around one another

The Postman, Vincent van Gogh, 1889; one of the first works to enter Albert Barnes's collection, Van Gogh turns an ordinary salt-and-pepper beard into a brilliant ocean of color; thick licks of paint—green, black, purple, red—curl around one another

The museum has no information posted on ANY of the artworks nor is printed info available; you have to scan the works individually into your phone to see a description (there are 4000 works in the museum!)

The museum has no information posted on ANY of the artworks nor is printed info available; you have to scan the works individually into your phone to see a description (there are 4000 works in the museum!)

The Seine at Argenteuil, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1888; the Barnes was founded in 1922 by Dr. Albert Barnes, who made his fortune by developing Argyrol, an antiseptic silver compound used to combat gonorrhea and inflammation of the eye, ear, nose and throat

The Seine at Argenteuil, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1888; the Barnes was founded in 1922 by Dr. Albert Barnes, who made his fortune by developing Argyrol, an antiseptic silver compound used to combat gonorrhea and inflammation of the eye, ear, nose and throat

Young Man and Skull, Paul Cezanne, 1898; the Barnes Foundation owns 4,000  objects, including 900  paintings, estimated to be worth about $25 billion

Young Man and Skull, Paul Cezanne, 1898; the Barnes Foundation owns 4,000+ objects, including 900+ paintings, estimated to be worth about $25 billion

Bouquet of Flowers with China Asters and Tokyos, Henri Rousseau, 1910; Dr. Barnes sold his company just months before the stock market crash of October, 1929

Bouquet of Flowers with China Asters and Tokyos, Henri Rousseau, 1910; Dr. Barnes sold his company just months before the stock market crash of October, 1929

A Necklace of Boats, Violette de Mazia, 1949; on an art buying trip to Paris in the 1910s, Dr. Barnes visited the home of Gertrude and Leo Stein where he purchased his first two paintings by Henri Matisse

A Necklace of Boats, Violette de Mazia, 1949; on an art buying trip to Paris in the 1910s, Dr. Barnes visited the home of Gertrude and Leo Stein where he purchased his first two paintings by Henri Matisse

Apparition of the Virgin and Child to Saint Hyacinth, El Greco, 1610; the Barnes Collection includes 181 Renoirs, 69 Cezannes, 59 Matisses, 46 Picassos, 18 Rousseaus, 16 Modiglianis, 11 Degas' and 7 Van Goghs

Apparition of the Virgin and Child to Saint Hyacinth, El Greco, 1610; the Barnes Collection includes 181 Renoirs, 69 Cezannes, 59 Matisses, 46 Picassos, 18 Rousseaus, 16 Modiglianis, 11 Degas' and 7 Van Goghs

Washerwoman and Child, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1886; for this work, Renoir dried out his colors-blotting as much oil as he could from the paint-to give the canvas the chalky look of an Italian fresco

Washerwoman and Child, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1886; for this work, Renoir dried out his colors-blotting as much oil as he could from the paint-to give the canvas the chalky look of an Italian fresco

Portrait of a Man Holding a Watch, Franz Hals, 1643; this work is of a Mennonite watchmaker from the city of Haarlem which explains the emphasis of the gold timepiece in the lower right corner

Portrait of a Man Holding a Watch, Franz Hals, 1643; this work is of a Mennonite watchmaker from the city of Haarlem which explains the emphasis of the gold timepiece in the lower right corner

The Card Players, Paul Cezanne, 1892; for much of the 1890s, the artist lived at his father's estate in Aix-en-Provence, where he made paintings of the local landscape and people who worked on the property

The Card Players, Paul Cezanne, 1892; for much of the 1890s, the artist lived at his father's estate in Aix-en-Provence, where he made paintings of the local landscape and people who worked on the property

The Artist's Family, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1896; this was one of Renoir's favorite paintings which he kept his entire life; Dr. Barnes bought it from one of the Renoir sons in 1927

The Artist's Family, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1896; this was one of Renoir's favorite paintings which he kept his entire life; Dr. Barnes bought it from one of the Renoir sons in 1927

Redheaded Girl in Evening Dress, Amedeo Modigliani, 1918; this portrait (I thought it looked like Kathy Griffin)  of a woman in a strapless dress shows how women's lives had changed by the early 20th century

Redheaded Girl in Evening Dress, Amedeo Modigliani, 1918; this portrait (I thought it looked like Kathy Griffin) of a woman in a strapless dress shows how women's lives had changed by the early 20th century

The Smoker, Vincent van Gogh, 1888; the artist maintains an astounding attention to naturalistic detail, working to portray the way a person really looks and behaves

The Smoker, Vincent van Gogh, 1888; the artist maintains an astounding attention to naturalistic detail, working to portray the way a person really looks and behaves

The Music Lesson, Henri Matisse, 1917; Matisse set this portrait of his wife, daughter and two sons in the family's living room; the artist himself was an accomplished violinist

The Music Lesson, Henri Matisse, 1917; Matisse set this portrait of his wife, daughter and two sons in the family's living room; the artist himself was an accomplished violinist

Models, Georges Seurat, 1888; the scene in the artist's studio depicts models posing in front of Seurat's most famous painting A Sunday on La Grande Jatte

Models, Georges Seurat, 1888; the scene in the artist's studio depicts models posing in front of Seurat's most famous painting A Sunday on La Grande Jatte

Embroiderers, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1902; the artist disdained modern technology as it undermined long-held values of craftsmanship; it was astonishing to see so many Renoirs in one place!

Embroiderers, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1902; the artist disdained modern technology as it undermined long-held values of craftsmanship; it was astonishing to see so many Renoirs in one place!

Two Women by the Shore, Mediterranean, Henri Edmond Cross, 1896; the artist is most acclaimed as a master of Neo-Impressionism, was a significant influence on Henri Matisse and was instrumental in the development of Fauvism

Two Women by the Shore, Mediterranean, Henri Edmond Cross, 1896; the artist is most acclaimed as a master of Neo-Impressionism, was a significant influence on Henri Matisse and was instrumental in the development of Fauvism

The Ascetic, Pablo Picasso, 1903; during his Blue Period, Picasso used marginalized people (with whom he greatly identified as he struggled in the early years of his career) as his subjects

The Ascetic, Pablo Picasso, 1903; during his Blue Period, Picasso used marginalized people (with whom he greatly identified as he struggled in the early years of his career) as his subjects

Still Life, Vincent van Gogh, 1888; Van Gogh painted this canvas a few months after he had moved to the village of Arles in the South of France; Barnes has excellent info on each work online (just not at the museum)

Still Life, Vincent van Gogh, 1888; Van Gogh painted this canvas a few months after he had moved to the village of Arles in the South of France; Barnes has excellent info on each work online (just not at the museum)

Madame Monet Embroidering, Claude Monet, 1875; though Monet preferred painting outdoors, he brought his easel indoors to paint his first wife; the museum didn't have any of his lilypads, haystacks or Rouen Cathedrals

Madame Monet Embroidering, Claude Monet, 1875; though Monet preferred painting outdoors, he brought his easel indoors to paint his first wife; the museum didn't have any of his lilypads, haystacks or Rouen Cathedrals

Entrance of the Port of Honfleur, Georges Seurat, 1886; this port at the mouth of the Seine looks quite different today with huge cruise ships docking there for daytrips to Paris

Entrance of the Port of Honfleur, Georges Seurat, 1886; this port at the mouth of the Seine looks quite different today with huge cruise ships docking there for daytrips to Paris

Sailor Boy, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1883; at the time, Renoir wrote that he was busy with two brats who make me furious; the boy arrogantly posing is the son of a French mayor

Sailor Boy, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1883; at the time, Renoir wrote that he was busy with two brats who make me furious; the boy arrogantly posing is the son of a French mayor

Acrobat and Young Harlequin, Pablo Picasso, 1905; traveling circus performers were a common spectacle in Paris performing in public squares such as Montmartre where Picasso lived

Acrobat and Young Harlequin, Pablo Picasso, 1905; traveling circus performers were a common spectacle in Paris performing in public squares such as Montmartre where Picasso lived

Red Madras Headdress, Henri Matisse, 1907; this striking portrait is the artist's wife who posed often for her husband in some of the great revolutionary canvases of the early 20th century

Red Madras Headdress, Henri Matisse, 1907; this striking portrait is the artist's wife who posed often for her husband in some of the great revolutionary canvases of the early 20th century

The Ladies' Man, Georges Seurat, 1890; the collection displays different artworks according to Barnes' methodology in wall ensembles which allow comparison of works from various time periods, geographic areas and styles (I never got the connections)

The Ladies' Man, Georges Seurat, 1890; the collection displays different artworks according to Barnes' methodology in wall ensembles which allow comparison of works from various time periods, geographic areas and styles (I never got the connections)

Posted by VagabondCowboy 06:37

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