Barnes Foundation Sets 2012 Opening Date for New Building

In case you missed it, late last week a date for next year has been announced for the opening of the new home of the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia. Controversial from the start, which was heightened considerably after the popular film The Art of the Steal was released, documenting founder Albert Barnes‘ original wishes not to have his staggeringly large and important art collection moved from its home in suburban Merion, PA and then its ultimate undoing, with the bulk of the museum being picked up and moved into a flashy new Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects-designed building in Philadelphia proper. Back in July, you might recall, those trying to fight the move appeared to have lost their final battle (though they were back in court on August 1st), the original Barnes Foundation closed its doors, and the long and potentially dangerous process of moving such a large, priceless collection a few miles down the freeway began. Now the new home has announced that May 19th is opening day, with two weeks filled with different events, including a black-tie fundraising gala (technically on May 18th), several days of member events, and finally the public opening on the 19th, wherein the museum will stay open for 60 hours straight and offer free entrance. Given what an emotionally and legally loaded enterprise this whole thing is, we imagine that it’s undoubtably going to provide some of the best architecture and art review reading of the year.