Education is at the Heart of Everything We Do
Our founder, Dr. Albert C. Barnes, believed that art had the power to improve minds and transform lives. Our diverse educational programs are based on his teachings and one-of-a-kind collections--both his art holdings in Philadelphia and the rare trees, flowers, and other plants at the Barnes Arboretum.
The mission of the Barnes Foundation is to promote "the advancement of education and the appreciation of the fine arts and horticulture."
Born into a working-class family in Philadelphia, Albert Coombs Barnes (1872–1951) showed his intelligence and drive early on. In 1922, Dr. Barnes and his wife, Laura Leggett Barnes, purchased a 12-acre arboretum in Merion, Pennsylvania. He hired noted French architect Paul Cret to design a residence and gallery on the grounds. This would become the first home of the Barnes Foundation, an educational institution dedicated to promoting an appreciation of fine art and horticulture.
Today, the Barnes Foundation continues to honor and build on Dr. Barnes's educational legacy. In 2012, the Barnes moved to its current home in Philadelphia, a state-of-the-art building designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners.
Note: The above descriptive information came from the museum's About page.
In The News
- Virtual reality brings Barnes collection outside the museum and into the neighborhoods, WHYY, September 4, 2019.
- The Barnes Foundation and Indego launch a masterworks bikes collection, Metro, August 23, 2017.
- Digital Collection: Our Collection