Barnes Foundation Announces May 19 Building Opening Date

Barnes Under Construction in Philadelphia

After successfully raising more than $200 million through its capital campaign and surpassing 10,000 members, the Barnes Foundation officially announced today the much-anticipated opening date of its Philadelphia campus is May 19, 2012. The facility on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway will be the new home of the Barnes art collection and art education programs.

PNC and Comcast will be the premier sponsors for the opening year of the Philadelphia campus of the Barnes Foundation. Both sponsors support the core principles of the Barnes Foundation in the areas of public access, education and community engagement. An official ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 19 will set in motion 10 days of special visits to the new building and gardens, concluding with 60 hours of free, round-the-clock open access to the public on the weekend of May 26, 27 and 28.

Chairman of the Barnes Foundation Board of Trustees, Dr. Bernard C. Watson said, “I am delighted that Comcast and PNC have made a major commitment to become our premier sponsors for the opening of our Philadelphia campus. Their generosity and support for our mission are deeply appreciated. The partnerships with PNC and Comcast will help to sustain the Barnes Foundation and make its collections and programs centerpieces of cultural life in the Philadelphia region, now and for generations to come.”

“We understand the importance of investing in the arts,” said Bill Mills, Regional President of PNC for Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey. “While the Barnes Foundation will have a tremendous economic impact for our region, even more important is the profound difference it will make for individuals who now have access to this art and the educational programs – including young children. We are pleased to announce that PNC and the Barnes are creating an early art education program through PNC Grow Up Great that we believe can become a national model.”

“As a Philadelphia-based company, we are proud to support the Barnes Foundation in bringing this renowned collection of artwork and its educational mission to its new campus in Philadelphia. This institution is truly a gift to our city and the entire nation,” said Dave Watson, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Comcast Cable.

The Barnes Foundation also launched today a new website, which features a bold new look and expanded functionality. With an increase in demand expected when tickets go on sale, the website will utilize a new reservations system that will show up-to-the-minute ticket availability. The site will also feature a new cataloging system to vastly improve virtual access to the much-celebrated pieces in the Barnes collection. “The new, integrated website will allow visitors to get the most out of their Barnes experience before, during and after a visit,” said Barnes President and Executive Director, Derek Gillman. “We wanted it to be a virtual extension of the Barnes.”

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