Behind the Barnes - Atlas Obscura

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Behind the Barnes

Explore the complicated history of art collector Albert Barnes through his renowned Barnes Foundation archives.

Join Atlas Obscura for an in-depth conversation about the complicated history of the Barnes Foundation and its founder, with viewings of the artistic treasures hidden within Barnes' vast archives. With archivists Barbara Beaucar and Amanda McKnight as guides, you will get an up-close look at recently uncovered letters from 1912 that record the first purchases of art that formed the cornerstone of famous Barnes art collection, photographs sent by Henri Matisse from his studio in France that document the evolution of his famed “The Dance” mural (which graces the main gallery), and the bride’s book of Barnes' wife, Laura.


  • The tour will be in the archives and will not include a visit to the galleries of the museum.


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Advance ticket sales only. All ticket sales are final. No refunds or exchanges.