The Barnes Foundation Announces Free Weekday Admission for College and University Students


Thom Collins, executive director and president of the Barnes Foundation announced on Nov. 13, 2015, that the Barnes will offer free general admission on weekdays to all college, university and graduate students. Additionally, the Barnes will provide K-12 educators working within the School District of Philadelphia — and in Philadelphia’s parochial schools — with free general admission on Sundays. This expanded access is made possible by a $1 Million Match Opportunity, provided by an anonymous donor, which matches funds raised through increases in annual memberships and new memberships to the Barnes.

“Providing expanded access to the Barnes Foundation for all visitors – especially students – is one of our top priorities,” said Collins. “We look forward to welcoming more students from the Greater Philadelphia area, across the United States, and around the world, and helping them cultivate a deeper engagement with the Barnes and its world-class collection of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, and early Modern art.”

This free admission will kick off on Friday, November 13 at Open Arts College Night at the Barnes Foundation. Open Arts College Night, presented in partnership with Campus Philly, is a free evening event for college, university and graduate students featuring live music and performances by students from local schools, refreshments and access to the Barnes collection and exhibitions.  

The free tickets can be redeemed onsite only by presenting valid, school-issued ID. One ticket will be issued per college, university or graduate student, or K-12 educator working within the School District of Philadelphia or in Philadelphia’s parochial schools.

About the Barnes Foundation 

The Barnes Foundation ( was established by Albert C. Barnes in 1922 to “promote the advancement of education and the appreciation of the fine arts and horticulture.” The Barnes holds one of the world’s finest collections of impressionist, post-impressionist and early modern paintings, with extensive works by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Henri Rousseau, Amedeo Modigliani, Chaim Soutine and Giorgio de Chirico; works by American masters Charles Demuth, William Glackens, Horace Pippin and Maurice Prendergast; old master paintings; important examples of African sculpture; Native American ceramics, jewelry and textiles; decorative arts and ironwork; and antiquities from the Mediterranean region and Asia. While most collections are grouped by chronology, style or genre, art at the Barnes is arranged in ensembles structured according to light, line, color and space — principles that Dr. Barnes called “the universal language of art.” The Foundation’s programs include First Fridays, young professionals nights, tours, tastings and family programs, as well as Barnes-de Mazia Education Program courses and workshops. These programs advance the Foundation’s mission through progressive, experimental and interdisciplinary teaching and learning. The Barnes Foundation is open Wednesday-Monday, and tickets can be purchased on-site, online, or by calling 215.278.7200. Ticket prices and current hours are listed on the website. 

The Barnes Arboretum in Merion contains more than 2,500 varieties of trees and woody plants, many of them rare. Founded in the 1880s by Joseph Lapsley Wilson and expanded under the direction of Laura Leggett Barnes, the living collections include 40 state champion trees, a Chinese fringe tree (Chionanthus retusus), a dove tree (Davidia involucrata), a monkey-puzzle tree (Araucaria araucana) and a coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens). Other important plant collections include lilacs, peonies, stewartias, ferns, medicinal plants, hostas and magnolias. The Horticulture Education Program has offered a comprehensive three-year certificate course in the botanical sciences, horticulture, garden aesthetics and design since its establishment in 1940 by Mrs. Barnes. The arboretum also offers horticulture workshops and lectures, and is open to the public Friday-Sunday from May through November.  Tickets can be purchased onsite, online or by calling 215.278.7200. Ticket prices and current hours are listed on the website. 


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