A Range of Revelations

Publication: The Wall Street Journal

Author: Karen Wilkin

12/27/2012 - ''The big excitement of 2012 was the opening of the 'new' Barnes Foundation, reincarnated, with additions, in Philadelphia proper by Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, with landscaping by Laurie Olin. The verdict? Despite anticipatory skepticism, generally positive. The added spaces and garden are elegant and well-considered (the light-washed atrium is particularly good), the stone used throughout is handsome, and the reconstituted 'old' building feels like the cranky Merion original, with idiosyncratic hanging and importunate guards intact, but with better light. Purists may lament the relocation of Henri Matisse's 'Le Bonheur de vivre' (1905-06) from its former awkward spot above the staircase to an intimate second-floor gallery. The rest of us rejoice at being able to study this glorious, prescient vision of a pastoral idyll at eye level, close up, rather than glimpsing it, either too high or too low, always too far away, from the stairs.''

Read the full article, A Range of Revelations, on The Wall Street Journal's website.

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