When Henri Matisse visited the Barnes Foundation (Philadelphia), in September 1930, he wrote that “it was the only sane place to see art in America”. Indeed Albert Barnes had made sure to collect the best of the Avant-garde art of its time, with the goal to educate people and teach how to appreciate art in terms of visual relationships.
The Barnes Foundation is carrying on the legacy of Albert Barnes with the challenge to maintain and renew the interest for its world famous collection. Their current initiative Let’s Connect, organized by Shelley Bernstein (Deputy Director of Audience Engagement and Chief Experience Officer at the Barnes Foundation) in collaboration with Mural Arts Philadelphia, is perfectly in line with this goal.
Let’s Connect is an exhibition of works created by contemporary Philadelphia’s artists, inspired by a work of art in the Barnes collection. The exhibition running from May 21 to June 4 will be open to the public with a free access (registration on line). The public and a team of curators will select four artists to be invited for a residency on-site in the Mural Arts Studio at the Barnes. The artists and the public are invited to share their experience with #letsconnectphilly on social media.
It will be interesting to discover how 21st century artists are inspired by iconic artworks from famous artists like Renoir, Cézanne, Matisse, Picasso or Van Gogh but also from anonymous African and Native American artists.
So if you are in the area, make sure to visit the Barnes Foundation and see both the original works and those inspired by them (including mine!). Art history is a continuum and this exhibition will be a perfect example of how artists influence and inspire each other throughout time.
Register to visit the Barnes Exhibition: May 21–June 4, 2018