Thursday, October 08, 2009

"Meet the new Barnes Foundation museum, just like the old Barnes"

The Philadelphia Inquirer editorial board is thrilled with the new Barnes design:

"In a substantially larger building ..., the paintings of Renoir, C├ęzanne, Matisse, and other masters will be accessible to millions of visitors. That would be impossible at the Barnes' leafy suburban location, where visitors were limited by court orders resulting from battles with neighbors over traffic concerns.

"Since it was the Barnes' isolation that helped trigger money woes that led museum leaders to explore moving, the city location should bode well for the museum as a going concern.

" . . . At the same time, there is no mistaking the aim of architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien to re-create Albert C. Barnes' former mansion. That's in keeping with pledges to preserve the unique artwork displays dictated by Barnes . . . .

"Will the design silence critics of the move, who objected to a Montgomery County judge's ruling in favor of a more flexible interpretation of Barnes' bequest? That's probably asking too much. But the plan's obvious respect for Barnes' legacy - for his idiosyncratic view of how art should be displayed and appreciated - should reassure supporters of the move."