The Benjamin Franklin Parkway

The Benjamin Franklin parkway that starts from the City Hall is a wide, long parkway that demonstrates the magnificent aspect of Philadelphia. Its magnificence culminates with the Greek Revival-style Philadelphia Museum of Art, one of the largest art museums in the country. On top of such great landmark, the district has many other museums, and the one that I enjoy going is the Barnes Foundation.

Originally located in Lower Merion, the Barnes Foundation holds over 2,500 objects collected by Albert C. Barnes, an avid collector of art. The foundation has a significant amount of Impressionist and Modernist works, such as those by Monet, Renoir, Cezanne and Modigliani.

The prominent characteristic that stands out to me every time I visit the Barnes Foundation is the placement of its objects. Paintings, metal works and furniture are compactly put together, in a way that the ensemble itself becomes a work of art. Although it is sometimes hard to articulate, I sense that Barnes is narrating a story through his collection.

Another aspect that grabbed my attention was the different feelings I perceive from the same painting as the lighting changes. The cloud drifts over the sun during the day, and the brightness of the room adds a new layer to appreciating the collection.

Whether you are a huge museum-goer or are just pleasantly interested, I would suggest walking down the parkway and view the collection. It is one of the ways the city helps me take a break from busy school routines.

-Michelle J. '17