When you think of the world’s great art capitals you think New York City, Rome, Florence, Paris, Los Angeles for contemporary genius, London… As of this spring you can add Philadelphia to that list. Seriously.
Yep, on May 18th the Barnes Foundation is opening a new mega-museum along Phildelphia’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway, which will house the staggeringly vast collection of some of the world’s best Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces. Assembled by Philly’s own Dr. Albert Barnes in the first-half of the 20th Century, the Barnes collection has for years been housed in a stately yet small museum in Merion, PA (a leafy Philly ‘burb). But now, it’s going big-time and all of the art world is watching.
The Barnes will showcase a phenomenally intense treasure trove of works by Picasso, Manet, Seurat, Degas, Monet and… 181 Renoirs, 69 Cézannes and 59 Matisses. It also boasts a gasp-inducing survey of African sculpture, Pennsylvania Dutch folk art and antique Chinese paintings.
Meanwhile, Philly’s long-esteemed Rodin Museum (just next door to the new Barnes) is undergoing a serious revamping and will be re-opening this summer. And just up the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the beloved and massive Philadelphia Museum of Art still presides grandly over the city. And expect more big shows to come as well at the quieter, but spiffy galleries at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
And yes, the City of Brotherly Love (and Sisterly Affection) will continue to thrive with the artful gallery-hopping First Friday events this spring and summer, and public art will continue to pop up all over town in the form of murals, outdoor sculptures, art-fests…
WATCH our little video visit above and hear folks from the Barnes, the Rodin Museum and from Philly’s own city government dish on what’s-what art-wise this spring. Then get even more info at the jam-packed VisitPhilly site.