WHYY's special 60-minute TV documentary on the Barnes Foundation for the new PBS Arts Summer Festival series, The Barnes Collection, tells the story of Dr. Albert C. Barnes and his noteworthy, priceless art collection, considered among the world's greatest, and detail the design and construction of the new Barnes building in Center City Philadelphia.
Established in 1922 as an educational institution, the Barnes Foundation's art collection houses more Cezannes than all the museums in Paris and features the world's largest collection of works by Renoir. The 3,000-plus-piece collection is regarded as housing the greatest collection of Post-Impressionist and early modern art as well as American and African art and sculpture.
The collection's true value is incalculable, and for decades the Barnes Foundation was largely inaccessible. The Barnes Foundation moved its Gallery Collection from suburban Merion, Pa., to a new location in Philadelphia, which opened May 19 with a 10-day celebration. The new campus provides expanded public access to its distinctive collection and education programs.
The Barnes Collection uses the relocation and renaissance of the Barnes Foundation as a vehicle for telling the story of Dr. Albert C. Barnes, and his astounding art collection.