Before we toured Chanticleer Gardens last Friday we went to the Barnes Foundation and Arboretum in Merion, PA to see one of the world's most outstanding collections of French Impressionistic, Post French Impressionistic and Modern paintings. We were excited to visit this private art collection that is open to the public only thru advanced ticket purchase. Sandra acquired our tickets two months ago so it was one of the main reasons we went to Philly last weekend. Mr. Barnes was an art lover and as he acquired more wealth he acquired more paintings for his private collection. At the time of his death Mr. Barnes owned quite an impressive collection of paintings: Pierre-Auguste Renoirs (181), Paul Cezanne (69), Henri Matisse (59) Pablo Picasso (46) Chaim Santini (21) Henri Rousseau (18) Amedeo Modigliani (16) Edgar Degas (11) Vincent Van Gogh (7) George Seurat (6) Edouard Manet (4) Claude Monet (Monet). Can you even imagine owning that many famous works of art. As Gene commented to us as we were touring the collection how many Renoirs does one man need? But Mr. Barnes who came from a blue color background and attended Philly's Central High School before becoming a doctor and a chemist in Philly started his art collection for the workers in his chemical factory. He would hang famous oil paintings in the factory and give art appreciation classes to his workers. What lucky factory workers.
Eventually Mr. Barnes bought land and had a museum built to hold all his paintings. Today the Barnes Foundation continues Mr. Barnes's vision by offering tours, classes and special events. But the security is very tight. No coats, purses or cameras in the galleries so we had to check our things. So you will not see any photos of paintings today. But if you would like to gain more knowledge about this fascinating man and his art and arboretum, please go to this website for the Barnes Foundation to learn more: http://www.barnesfoundation.org/c_main.html
Below are photos we were allowed to take of the gardens and arboretum which has an outstanding collection of old growth trees as you will discover in these photos. We found by the museum building a huge old fern leaf beech tree with low branches and by the second entrance gate a horse chestnut tree with big white blossoms. Take a look below and enjoy but do click on a photo you like to get a real virtual experience. My favorite pic in this group is the one of the fern leaf beech tree.
Fern Leaf Beech Tree
Huge Old Chinese Fringe Tree
Sandra Checking Out How Tall That Ancient Dogwood Tree Really Is
Private Woodland Oasis
Horse Chestnut Tree
Close Up Of Pinkish White Horse Chestnut Blossoms
The Formal Gardens With Tall Purple Alliums