Barnes Foundation

Barnes Foundation

Barnes Foundation

Barnes with art

Latches Lane, Merion

The Barnes Foundation was established by Albert C. Barnes in 1922 to “promote the advancement of education and the appreciation of the fine arts.” Located in a twelve-acre arboretum, the building was home to one of the world’s largest collections of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and early Modern paintings as well as important examples of African sculpture until 2012.

Barnes hired the noted French architect Paul Philippe Cret (architect of the Ben Franklin Bridge and the Rodin Museum) to design a Gallery and attached residence (now the administration building), which were completed in Merion in 1925. The building features bas-reliefs by the sculptor Jacques Lipchitz, and tile work using African designs and themes by Enfield Pottery and Tile Works, to adorn the building. Laura Barnes established the Arboretum School to provide students of horticulture, botany and landscape architecture in 1940.