|approaching the Barnes Foundation|
|the Foundation's subtle signage|
|entering the Barnes' landscape|
|rounding the corner, approaching the entrance|
|crossing the bridge over the shallow pool|
|the view to my right as I reach the entrance|
|sitting in the courtyard garden on the lower level|
|the brunch menu|
|jalapeno-infused bloody mary + coffee|
|the vegetarian eggs benedict|
I had read the glowing reviews of the new building, so my expectations were high:
"The spectacular contemporary architecture cradles the modest graces of the Merion structure with an air of religious veneration," wrote Peter Schjeldahl in The New Yorker
"At a moment when so many museums seem bent on turning themselves into entertainment and social centers, or frequently mount dry, overly academic exhibitions, the Barnes irrefutably foregrounds art and nonverbal visual experience," wrote Roberta Smith in the New York TimesThe building is a bit austere and ominous from the street, but once I entered the landscape surrounding the building, my experience shifted. The landscape was peaceful, gently and gracefully leading us into the arms of the museum. Once inside, the building continues that same feeling, with soaring skylights and large, open areas for contemplation and relaxation–something the former home was sorely missing (one of my favorite spots was an interior courtyard garden that was open to the sky and had a single bench for sitting).
Although the Foundation's officers violated Mr. Barnes' wishes by moving the collection, they did right by him in that they maintained the exact same installation and layout in the new galleries (and even positioned the galleries in the same orientation to the sun as at the original location). The collection looked as good, if not better, than I had remembered it. And it continued to surprise and delight me, with Paul Klee, Charles Demuth, Henri Rousseau and Georges Seurat among my favorites (you can explore the entire collection here on the Barnes website).
Great art & architecture begets great food. I would be remiss if I didn't tell you about our amazing brunch at Talula's Garden, a farm-to-table restaurant overlooking Washington Square, where I had a delicious vegetarian eggs benedict and a jalapeno-spiced bloody mary. It was so picture-perfect, I couldn't resist snapping a few of my own to share with you (even though, I admit, taking pictures of one's food in public is a bit cringe-worthy). I promise not to make it a habit.