The Barnes Foundation

We partnered with the Barnes Foundation to create a new collections website that makes their art accessible to everyone.

Dr. Barnes taught people to look at works of art primarily in terms of their visual relationships rather than their historical ones. Shelley Bernstein, Deputy Director of Audience Engagement and Chief Experience Officer at the Barnes Foundation, wanted to realize this idea in a web browser. To do this, we worked with a host of technology partners to bring design, computer vision and machine learning techniques to their collections data and assets. The end result is a unique way of visually exploring the collection in the spirit of Dr. Barnes and his approach to visual relationships between objects.

Using data science computer code and other nerdy stuff, we built tools that identify and catalogue the thousands of artworks in their collection.

Following Shelley’s lead, we partnered with a dream team of technologists, designers and data scientists to help the museum bring the project to light. All of the code produced for the project was open sourced and can be found on The Barnes Foundation GitHub page. As well, the project was documented in great detail on their blog. A full list of project credits can be found on here.

The final website allows users to search the entire collection by color keyword and other formal qualities, just how Dr. Barnes would have wanted it.

View and explore the collections website here.