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French Students Visit the Barnes Foundation

Germantown Academy's Upper School AP French class, taught by Linda Test, visited the Barnes Foundation on Wednesday, February 5. 

"After studying the French impressionists and post-impressionists in class, we were fortunate enough to see one of the premier collections in the world up-close," said Mrs. Test, who also serves as the Co-Chair of the Upper School Modern Language Department. "Our students were fascinated and amazed by the art and they impressed our guide with their knowledge and insights.  Although I go every year, I always see and learn something new since there is so much to see in every gallery."

Here are a few things the students had to say about the trip:

"It was interesting to visit the Barnes Foundation and see the works of so many famous artists at our fingertips," said Marius Vava '20. "There were so many paintings that I thought would only be in Paris or New York and to have them here in Philadelphia was surprising.”

"The Barnes Foundation helped me to view art from a novel perspective," said Anthony Hu 20. "For example, the juxtaposition of Picasso’s paintings and masks from Africa unveiled to me a part of art that I hadn’t considered before! How art is truly a global phenomenon and that influences could come from anywhere."

"The density of the art was incredible," said John Karr '20."There was a famous Van Gogh next to a famous Renoir next to a famous Monet, all displayed on the same wall with no barriers or cases.  Amazing!”

Matthew Sender '20: "At first, I thought the Barnes Foundation would be ‘just another art museum’, but I soon found that I was wrong," said Matthew Sender '20. "I really loved the strange, out-of-the-ordinary collections of metal work and ensembles that really spoke to Barnes’s personality as a whole. One of the most interesting sections of the museum was the part where a display of African masks were put alongside Picasso’s work.  It really struck me how two seemingly distinct cultures—European and African—came together in ways that aren’t immediately obvious. Truly, it was a thought-provoking experience."

"Our trip to the Barnes was exquisite," said Amanda Li. '20. "It was so very interesting to see and experience the art from the perspective of the original art collector, Dr. Barnes. The way in which he organized the art and displayed it, really forced you to think not only about the hidden meaning of the paintings but also to observe the parallels and difference between the artists. His blend of art from Africa to Japan to Europe was also such an experience—it was like traveling around the world in ever-changing time periods. All-in-all, it was a great experience for the mind and soul, and one I hope others might explore as well."