Barnes Foundation

The mission of the Barnes is to promote the advancement of education and the appreciation of the fine arts and horticulture. Our founder, Dr. Albert C. Barnes, believed that art had the power to improve minds and transform lives. Our diverse educational programs are based on his teachings and one-of-a-kind collections. Philadelphia art collector Albert C. Barnes (1872–1951) chartered the Barnes Foundation in 1922 to teach people from all walks of life how to look at art. Over three decades, he collected some of the world’s most important impressionist, post-impressionist, and modern paintings, including works by Renoir, Cézanne, Matisse, and Picasso. He displayed them alongside African masks, native American jewelry, Greek antiquities, and decorative metalwork. Dr. Barnes was a strong supporter of progressive education and social justice, and he worked closely with black communities in the belief that people—like art—should not be segregated.

Programs