On our art trip to Philly, we planned to visit a number of museums, and just looking at the it energy, I was far less excited about the Barnes collection than the Rodin or Philadelphia art museum, mainly because I knew little to nothing about it. Of course this means that it ended up being my favorite of the three gallery experiences.
I honk a lot of what I liked about the Barnes collection was the stories behind everything--- the story of the creation and arrangement of the collection itself, and the stories behind the pieces, provided by the awesome audio tour.
There were two pieces that I fell very much in love with at the Barnes collection. I have made it a point to get both of them on the wall of my room. Both were portraits and both evoked very particular emotions from me.
The portrait of Joseph Roulin by Van Gogh, which now watches over me at my desk during AP week, was my absolute favorite. I think I've seen it before---- I've definitely seen it before, but there's nothing like getting up close to it and looking Roulin in the eyes. That is my favorite part, his eyes, his expression. He felt like a guardian before I even learned his story. And Joseph Roulin was very much a guardian, he stayed by Van Gogh's side throw family rows and hospital visits and all sorts of messes. And that Van Gogh was able to capture something about that in expression is very cool to me. I know Van Gogh was more of a landscape guy but I'm really digging these portraits! (Even the funky one of the Roulin baby).