Recently for my birthday my mom and I took a trip to Philadelphia for a weekend. It rained the entire weekend and if you know me, you know I don’t like rain.

Poor weather aside, it was a good excuse to escape into the art haven that is the Barnes Foundation. Founded by Albert C. Barnes in 1922, this new structure was built in 2012 amid great controversy. One stipulation of the foundation at its founding was that the works were to stay “in exactly the places they are.”

Containing an impressive collection of impressionist, post-impressionist, and modernist artworks by the likes of Cézanne, Matisse, and Picasso, to name a few, the art is only part of the beauty of this architectural feat. The building itself is a work of art. Created to feel like a labyrinth, a home of to the art hung on its walls, you feel enmeshed inside as the outside world melts away. With limestone straight from Israel, and a garden placed in the middle of the space, as you spiral about the rooms, you begin to feel like you’re walking through the galleries of the artists; being led on a personal tour through their spaces.

What a beautiful message for life, right? The beauty of a space can be just as beautiful as the art within. As controversial as the outside and housing of the art was, the art within was kept safe and beautiful.

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