an blog | AJBlog Central | Contact me

Philadelphia Museum and the Barnes: The Synergy Begins

Demolition-in-Progress: Site of the new Barnes Foundation building in Philadelphia, formerly home to a juvenile detention center

In what is perhaps a harbinger of their future relationship as neighbors on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Barnes Foundation are collaborating on a high-powered lecture series, Cézanne, Still Going (scroll down), in conjunction with the museum’s soon-to-open Cézanne and Beyond exhibition.

The most renowned lecturers in the series will be speaking at the Barnes, not the Philadelphia Museum: John Elderfield, chief curator emeritus of painting and sculpture, Museum of Modern Art; John House, professor at the Courtauld Institute, London; and the show’s organizer, Philadelphia Museum senior curator Joseph Rishel (whose topic will be, “Déjà vu All Over Again: Cézanne, Barnes, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art Show”).

Rishel had already had close connections to the Barnes, as chairman of its curatorial advisory committee guiding the
foundation’s collections-assessment initiative—a project begun when there was still hope that the foundation could survive in its original location.
Cementing the relationship, the Philadelphia Museum is offering 11 private tours of the Barnes’ galleries in Merion, PA, during the next three months.

See it there (where its founder, Albert Barnes, intended it to be), before you can’t.

Speaking of which, here’s an update that I recently received from Andrew Stewart, the Barnes’ press spokesperson (who took the photo you see above) on the status of its building project:

The design process is ongoing and as far as I know we are on schedule for a public release of the design in the late spring. As the design is still being tweaked, there is nothing I can say publicly about the current design other than to restate that the new building on the Parkway will house the art collection in galleries that replicate the scale and configuration of the original Merion galleries, as well as the way the collections are currently presented. Construction is scheduled to begin toward the end of this year.

an ArtsJournal blog