The Barnes collection of fine Impressionist and Post Impressionist art is installed in its new building on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and opened to a series of presentations for the well-heeled and well-connected all of which were sold out which bodes well for the future of Fine Art in the city. The influential deserve their chance to celebrate for their political connections, time, and money are crucial to the institution of the art world. The New York Times and Washington Post both voiced their approval of the new setting.
Opening ceremonies and events are about art but not the art. A masterpiece is appreciated in quiet openess to its voice. A political gathering requires attentiveness to the dominant voices and personalities, to the ebb and flow of the crowd. I have a taste for the former and lack the skill of the latter which goes well with my finances.
I patiently look forward to visiting paintings which are old friends and fine teachers in their new home. But I will wait for a certain level of quiet and opportunity to view in stillness.
I did call Elizabeth Osborne who went. She is a good friend, fine teacher and critic, wonderful painter. Liz gave the new setting good marks. "We know the paintings, of course, and they are hung in the same settings but as you move from room to room the lighting is much improved ( always a concern for the artist} and they have added a courtyard and other settings which makes it comfortable... the architects did a fine job... I think better on the interior, among the art." which is high praise from the daughter of Paul Phillip Cret who designed the Barnes Foundation in Ardmore.
Liz is looking forward to visiting again. So there it awaits, on the Parkway next to the Rodin Museum in its restored landscape, across from the Franklin Institute and the Natural History Museum and a quarter mile down the Parkway from the Museum of Art which is much more than the Rocky Steps.
Philadelphia is one of the cash poorest of the old eastern cities and in many ways is quaint and ugly but she still has her best jewels to which is added this new gem as she sits dozing with memories of her past but not without promise for the future. Patience does not mean doing nothing, it means doing what can be done and trusting that new generations will have the same dreams and better means.
There are now four major art schools in walking distance from the Barnes: PAFA, Tyler, Moore, Art Institute and we can trust the generations who study with Cezanne.