The new museum attempts to mimic the best of the original with modern twists and technological improvements.
Even their friends were against it at first but Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, husband-and-wife architects, persevered. Selected in 2007 to design the controversial new Barnes Foundation museum in downtown Philadelphia, the couple battled scorn, litigation and the maze of creative restrictions imposed by an irascible art collector who died 60 years ago.
Five years and $150m later, the new Barnes is set to open this weekend. Only a few miles from its former pastoral home in leafy Merion, Pennsylvania, it is situated in the city’s cultural centre, where the once-reclusive jewel box will become an international destination for lovers of art.
A 2002 Barnes panorama.