The opening of the Barnes Foundation gallery on the Parkway in Philadelphia is still months away, but tickets became available to members on Wednesday. Next month, the general public will be able to purchase tickets to see the world-famous collection of art.
Like the original building in Lower Merion, the new home will be accessible to a limited number of visitors at any given time.
The old Barnes building was something of an exclusive place; visitors had to buy tickets ahead of time, sometimes months in advance, with no walk-up purchases allowed. The tickets were timed, and visitors had to adhere to those times to enter the galleries.
Galleries in the new building are nearly exact replications of those in Lower Merion.
“Many of the rooms are pretty small. The Barnes is not a large place,” said president and director Derek Gillman. “So we can’t just let people in. The idea was always to maintain a similar experience as in Merion. You don’t get that blockbuster feel that the galleries are crowded with people. Timed tickets are a fact of life.”
The gallery rooms will be the same size, but the overall building on the Parkway will be larger. At any given time, there will be more people allowed into the complex to enjoy an interior garden, cafe, and classrooms.