A playful room-by-room “bird-watching” guide to the Albert C. Barnes galleries in Philadelphia. Rumour has it that Dr Barnes put a bird in every room of his famed collection. But is this really true, and if so, why? The Barnes Foundation collection offers an astounding array of art, focusing on Post-Impressionist and early Modern masters: Renoir, Cézanne, Picasso, and Matisse. However, interspersed among these notable greats is a different kind of collection that incorporates folk art, pottery, furniture, and ironwork from cultures around the world. The instructional collection is built around a philosophy of individual interpretation, and following the birds from one room to another offers you an accessible starting point for uncovering the educational methods Dr Barnes used to encourage students to look at art. This lighthearted tour weaves art, history, and lessons on the collection into a delightful search for birds hiding in the gallery.
Julie Steiner has worked at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia for more than a decade She writes and teaches on a variety of fine art topics, as well as on retail and product development, perpetually investigating ways to make art history accessible to wider audiences and to create meaningful personal connections to fine art. Julie has a degree in art from Smith College and studied art history in Paris at the Sorbonne. She has worked in museums in education, curatorial, and operations departments, and is the author of A Short Biography of Paul Cézanne.