As those who know me have surely noticed, I like museums. A year or two ago, I noted that 2012 would see a seismic event in public art institutions, when the new Barnes Museum opened in Philadelphia. Well, that time has come. The new Barnes opened last month.
Philadelphia has long been a destination for art lovers because of the marvelous permanent collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, as well as those of the historic Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Rodin Museum, and others.
But most people have never experienced the Barnes. It is one of world’s most remarkable art collections, and it has been secreted away for decades on Latches Lane in Merion, a Main Line suburban town just over the city line. Visiting was a major undertaking that required very careful planning well ahead of time. The word “idiosyncratic” hardly begins to capture the history of the Barnes and its amazing collection.
Now the Barnes has moved to Center City, just down the block, more or less, from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, across the street from the Franklin Institute, and walkable to many other attractions in the City of Brotherly Love.
Don’t miss it. And if you don’t believe me, check out the following review from Ada Louise Huxtable that appeared recently in the Wall Street Journal. Then buy a ticket to Philly. It’s a great restaurant city, too, so you won’t go hungry. The experience will ring your bell.