Where can you see 181 Renoirs, 69 Cezannes, 59 Matisses, 46 Picassos, and 7 Van Goghs – for free? This Sunday, June 3 you can enjoy those masters and more incredible artwork without paying a dime as part of the Free First Sundays program at the new Philadelphia location of the Barnes Foundation.
Opened to the public on May 19, the Philly home for this amazing collection took nearly eight years to come to fruition. The 93,000-square-foot building, designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, includes 12,000 square feet of gallery space as well as 5,000 square feet of special exhibit space and indoor and outdoor gardens. The museum sits on 4.5 acres with landscape design by OLIN.
The Barnes Foundation was born from the personal art collection of Dr. Albert C. Barnes, which he hoped to share with future generations at a gallery in Merion, Pennsylvania. Controversy remains over whether Barnes’ last wishes allowed for the removal of the collection from its original location, but critics agree the new building (and its famous residents) is the thing to see in Philadelphia right now.
Though entry is free on the first Sunday of every month, you’ll need to reserve a timed ticket in advance. As of this posting, there were still tickets available for late in the afternoon on June 3; reserve tickets via the foundation’s website. If those go before you have a chance to book, don’t despair – free tickets for Sunday, July 1 will be made available starting this weekend.
Regular admission charges are $18 for adults, $15 for seniors, $10 for youths/students, and free for children 5 and under; advanced reservations are strongly recommended. The museum is closed on Tuesdays. www.barnesfoundation.org
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