Brunch and Modigliani- An afternoon at the Barnes Foundation

-Brenda Hillegas
feature image of Albert C. Barnes painted by Giorgio de Chirico in 1926

Philly is filled with amazing museums and indoor activities, so if you’re planning your winter bucket list- consider the Barnes Foundation on the Parkway. It’s easy to make this a “one stop” outing for the day when you add in lunch at the Foundation’s Garden Restaurant. Originally open for weekday lunch service only, you can now enjoy brunch on Saturdays and Sundays with a menu headed by Chef Michael O’Meara.

Another reason why the Barnes Foundation is a must this season- a special exhibit featuring the paintings and sculptures of Amedeo Modigliani, an Italian artist known for portraits and nudes done in a surrealist styling. Modigliani Up Close explores his methods and materials. You can view it through January 29, 2023.

My Sunday at the Barnes started with brunch, of course, and the menu features locally and seasonally sourced ingredients. There are a handful of options in each category (shared plates, soups, salads, entrees and sandwiches), but certainly something for everyone- including vegan and gluten free items. The space is small, so a reservation is encouraged. You can do so on OpenTable.

Brunch options include French Toast (crispy dipped baguette, cinnamon sugar,fresh berries and a vanilla bean syrup) and Baked Eggs (crispy fingerling potato, fire roasted tomato, arugula, pecorino, herbed breadcrumbs). The house made chips also arrive for the table (and I enjoyed dipping them into my dish). Coffee, teas, soda, and refreshing cocktails are available too.

After brunch, we started off at the Modigliani exhibit. More info and upcoming events surrounding the exhibit can be found on the Barnes website.

Modigliani self portrait. 1919

The Barnes Foundation features the incredible private collection of Albert C. Barnes, a Philadelphia based chemist. He made his fortune by helping to develop an antiseptic and sold his business just prior to the stock market crash in 1929. His art collection features pieces by Renoir, Cezanne, Matisse, Picasso, Van Gogh, Modigliani and so many others. It’s truly one of the best collections of modern European paintings.

The Barnes Foundation helps viewers learn more about each item on display by using the “Barnes Focus” feature that’s easy to access on your smartphone. By typing in in your web browser, you’ll be able to scan anything and find out more info. Additional details on this feature can be found here.

Plan your afternoon at the Barnes Foundation now and secure your spot for dining and exploring! For more info on the Foundation, exhibits, dining and getting there, visit the website.

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