Thursday, August 11, 2016

The Barnes Foundation Announces Looking At Matisse Today: A Symposium, October 13 – 15, 2016

International symposium takes place October 13 - 15, 2016

Philadelphia, PA.-In an unprecedented symposium exploring Henri Matisse’s life and work, the Barnes Foundation, home to one of the largest and most important holdings of Matisse in the world, will convene leading international scholars to share new research and insights on the artist. Taking place October 1315, 2016, Looking at Matisse Today: A Symposiumwill be led by Sylvie Patry, Deputy Director for Collections and Exhibitions and Gund Family Chief Curator. The event, the first of its kind to be hosted by the Barnes Foundation, will take place at the Foundation’s Philadelphia campus and is designed to probe possible fresh approaches to Matisse’s work, both with regard to his iconic works and within the larger context of the history of modernism.

“What better place to revive a discussion of Matisse’s place today and how we view his art than the Barnes, where the span of his artistic career is so well represented and his development as an artist was nourished?” said Patry. “Our hope with this symposium, which is inspired by the recently published Matisse in the Barnes Foundation by Yve-Alain Bois—the first authoritative publication on the Barnes’s Matisse collection—is not only to open new paths of exploration for French and American scholars of Matisse, but also to advance Franco-American scholarship and cultural exchange.”
Looking at Matisse Today: A Symposium is sponsored by Freeman’s auction house and American Airlines, with generous support from the Georges Lurcy Charitable and Educational Trust and individual donors. In connection with the Barnes’s recent publication of Matisse in the Barnes Foundation, and as part of the Foundation’s commitment to being a forum for research, exploration, and the development of new scholarship, Looking at Matisse Today: A Symposium will feature papers by a roster of some 20 scholars. Patry, Barbara Buckley, Senior Director of Conservation and Chief Conservator of Paintings, and Thom Collins, Executive Director and President, will take part.

“Among the 59 works in the Barnes collection are such historically significant paintings as Le Bonheur de vivre (The Joy of Life) and The Dance, which were pivotal in the evolution of Matisse’s art, but also in their profound influence on other artists and on the trajectory of art in the 20th century,” said Collins. “It’s our privilege to welcome leading scholars to share new ideas on the artist against the incredible backdrop of our holdings and in celebration of Dr. Albert C. Barnes’ long relationship with Matisse.”
In recent decades, numerous exhibitions and publications have reframed interpretations of Matisse’s work, forming a basis for discussions on the influence and understanding of the artist. Topics to be discussed at the Barnes’s symposium include the artist’s creative process, the role of drawing in his work, specific moments in his career, and his relationship to objects—particularly those from non-Western traditions. Matisse in the Barnes Foundation is a three-volume catalogue raisonné of the Barnes Foundation’s Matisse collection, edited by Yve-Alain Bois, professor of art history at the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ. This publication on one of the largest and most important holdings of Matisse offers fresh scholarship and furthers understanding of Matisse’s technique. It provides detailed interpretive analyses of the Matisse paintings in the Barnes Collection, including the stories behind acquisitions of the works as well as their critical reception, and presents a study of these holdings with unprecedented depth.
Looking at Matisse Today: A Symposium is sponsored by
With generous support from the Georges Lurcy Charitable and Educational Trust and individual donors.
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 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. Tickets to the Arboretum can be purchased on-site. Ticket prices and current hours are listed on

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