Opening the Gates: Putting the Barnes Foundation Online

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The Barnes Foundation was established to "promote the advancement of education and the appreciation of the fine arts." Unfortunately, until 1999 the collection was only available to those who could visit Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and even then, restrictive zoning regulations limited the Foundation to fewer than 800 visitors a week. In 1999, a new Executive Director and a new Development Director attempted to reach beyond the wrought iron fence that surrounded the property and present this unique collection to the world.

This session will explore the process by which the Barnes Foundation first put its collection online. We will examine the partnership between the Barnes Foundation and West Chester University in designing, developing and implementing the new website and the ongoing partnership between the two institutions. The collaboration between the foundation’s staff and the talented under undergraduate students at the university provides a classic example of how two educational institutions can work together. This inside look at the process will be presented by the Professor who was the architect of the Barnes Foundation’s first website and who still maintains that site almost 10 years later.

The Barnes Foundation Gallery houses one of the world's largest collections of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and early Modern paintings, with extensive holdings by Renoir, Cézanne, Matisse, Picasso and Rousseau, as well as Old Master paintings and important examples of African sculpture.


Keywords: Barnes Foundation, Online, WWW, Educational Collaboration, Impressionist
Stream: Media Arts Practices: Television, Multimedia, Digital, Online and Other New Media
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Dr. Michael Pearson

Professor, Communication Studies 
Internet Presentations Group of WCU, West Chester University

West Chester, Pennsylvania, USA

Dr. Michael Pearson, a member of the Communication Studies Department at West Chester University, did his doctoral work in the areas of rhetoric and argumentation. For the past two decades, however, Dr. Pearson's scholarship, teaching, and research has centered on the use of computerized technology in education. He developed and taught the first computerized multimedia course at his University. In 1993, he was named an IBM Consulting Scholar, one of only twenty-seven such scholars in the Western Hemisphere. He has given presentations on the use of multimedia and the WWW to audiences throughout the United States and Canada. An early adopter of the WWW, he created and offered the first online college course in Pennsylvania. He also founded the Internet Presentations Group, an educational, student-run, webdesign business that gives students real-life experience in creating websites. The Internet Presentations Group has a client list that includes the Barnes Foundation, the Pennsylvania Commission on Women, the Pennsylvania Department of Aging and the Governor’s African American Affairs.

Ref: A09P0333