I met my sister Madeline for the day in Philadelphia. It’s about halfway by train for each of us between New Jersey and Maryland.
We walked first to the Barnes Foundation Museum.
Dr. Alfred C. Barnes grew up poor in Philadelphia, attended UPenn, studied pharmacology in Germany, and in 1908 founded his own company to produce Argyrol, an antiseptic silver compound that prevented eye infections and blindness in newborns.
He began buying art in 1912, leading to one of the world’s largest private collections of post- impressionist and early modern paintings. He collected furniture, metalwork like door hinges, jewelry and sculpture, which he displayed in symmetrical wall arrangements called “ensembles.”
There’s an amazing assortment of Matisse, Renoir, and Picasso. And tons of others.
We had a good time, browsing through the galleries and chatting.
Then we walked—Philly is small and well laid out. There are street signs indicating directions of all the sites. It was cold and windy, but fun. We saw a few of the murals painted on buildings, often adorning parking lots.
We stopped in at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, to surprise Madeline’s college friend Anne, who works there. We strolled through the current exhibit, “The Female Gaze: Women Artists Making Their World,” all donated by a private collector.
From there we walked through Philly’s Chinatown towards the historic district. We didn’t have much time left and wanted to see the gowns worn by The Supremes at Philadelphia’s African American Museum. We enjoyed listening to the old songs and reading the newspaper articles about the group.
We ambled through the Reading Terminal Market, had a late lunch and headed back to the train station.
A great day!