About the Museum
The Barnes Foundation was established in 1922 by the eccentric chemist and collector Alfred C Barnes. His exceptional collection includes old master paintings, African sculptures, Native American ceramics, American paintings and Asian antiquities, though is perhaps best known for its outstanding holdings of works by Matisse, Cézanne and Renoir. Works are displayed unusually according to a series of “ensembles” devised by Barnes himself, which combine different art forms, cultures and historical periods. Each ensemble is carefully arranged to be symmetrical, and to stand in perpetuity. Barnes’s schema for the display of his collection was replicated in its entirety when the museum moved from his former home to a new building in downtown Philadelphia in 2012.