Barnes Foundation Reopens in Philadelphia with Cezanne, Renoir and 20th century masters (Photos)

The Barnes Foundation (4)

The Barnes Foundation (4)

The Barnes Collection Completes Its Big Move

Albert C. Barnes, a chemist who made his fortune from infant eyedrops, collected more than 4,000 pieces of art before his death in 1951. His impressive collection includes close to 70 Cezanne paintings, 181 Renoirs, many Picassos and Matisses as well as African sculpture and decorative arts. The eclectic assortment has moved from the Philadelphia suburbs to a grand new home dowtown, and goes on display on May 19. Art critic Blake Gopnik gives his first-visit  impressions in The Daily Beast.

Tom Crane / The Branes Foundation

A New, Modern Home

Architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien designed the new downtown home for the Barnes. In this nighttime view, the bright box across the building's top acts, during the day, to filter sunlight before it reaches the collection galleries.

The Barnes Foundation

The Art Stays The Same

The Barnes's great objects have been kept in the positions they've been in since the collector's death, in 1951. Their new galleries are close facsimiles of the spaces in the collection's original suburban home. Only the illumination has been profoundly altered, and improved.

The Barnes Foundation

A Cezanne Masterpiece

"The Card Players", from 1890–1892, is considered one of the greatest and rarest of the French master's works. (A picture from the same series sold to the state of Qatar last year, for a record $250 million.) The Barnes's 69 Cezannes are its greatest treasures. They alone make it one of the world's great museums.

The Barnes Foundation

More Cezanne Than Anyone Else

This Paul Cézanne still life dates from 1892 to 1894. The Barnes has great pictures by Cezanne in each of his genres: Portraits, landscapes, still lifes and arcadian scenes.

The Barnes Foundation

Degas' Beauties

Edgar Degas's "Group of Dancers" from around 1900 – one of several of the painter's ballet pieces owned by the Barnes.

The Barnes Foundation

A Famous Painting, Tucked Away

Vincent van Gogh's "The Postman (Joseph-Étienne Roulin)", from 1889, isn't splashed into the middle of a wall, as it might be at most museums. Barnes allowed it to sit in a corner, awaiting discovery by viewers.

The Barnes Foundation

Another Great Name of Early Modernism

Paul Gauguin's "Mr. Loulou (Louis Le Ray)", from 1890.

The Barnes Foundation

Too Much of a Good Thing?

One of the 181 paintings the Barnes owns by Pierre-Auguste Renoir: "Young Mother (Jeune mère)", from 1881.

The Barnes Foundation

(Almost) As Sexy As It Gets

Amedeo Modigliani's "Redheaded Girl in Evening Dress", from 1918. The Barnes also owns one of Modigliani's greatest nudes – and a Courbet that's openly pornographic.

Matt Rourke / AP Photo

The Man Who Bought The Art

An oil portrait of Barnes himself, by Giorgio de Chirico, hangs in the foundation's new special-exhibition gallery. The foundation has never hosted shows before, and it remains to be seen if they will distract from the permanent collection.