The Wall Street Journal had an interesting piece today on the design of the new Barnes building, and the architects' efforts to ensure that "the Philadelphia gallery would replicate the Merion layout, and that Barnes's distinctive ensembles, which juxtapose Old Masters with Impressionists, and African masks, Pennsylvania Dutch furniture, ceramics, hardware and other objects with paintings, would remain unchanged."
Remember: for all the moaning and groaning about the move, there is no way for us to predict exactly how adversely the experience of the Barnes’s art will be affected by its new home.
And coincidentally, a great quote from MoMA director Glenn Lowry showed up on Judith Dobrzynski's blog this afternoon. He says: "For any museum to thrive, it needs to grow and change and constantly rethink itself."
On the flip side, some people get upset when a painting is moved from a stairwell to, get this, its own room. Philistines! How could they?! Very "alarming." No growth, no change, no re-thinking allowed. Everything is perfect exactly as it is.