Barnes Foundation Announces $500,000 Endowment Gift from GSK to Ensure Art Educational Experiences for Students from Philadelphia School District

23 April 2014

More than 7,000 Philadelphia students annually to experience world-renowned art collection

Philadelphia, PA (April 23, 2014)— The Barnes Foundation announced today an endowment gift of $500,000 from GlaxoSmithKline plc (LSE: GSK) and the GSK Foundation to support K-8 education outreach programs for schoolchildren in the Philadelphia School District (SDP). The Barnes Foundation SmART fund for Education, Established by GSK, will fund three programs providing economically disadvantaged students the opportunity to experience and learn from the Foundation’s world-renowned art collection. Participating students will receive free admission, busing, expert instruction, and instructional materials.

Developed in partnership with administrators and teachers from the SDP, the programs are designed to use the Barnes’s art collection to enrich core curriculum subject areas, including literacy, science and math, history, and geography.  Evidence suggests that students who have taken years of art courses achieve higher SAT verbal and math scores. Classes also foster appreciation for the artistic expression of cultures from around the world.

“GSK is committed to building healthy communities across the world, and we are particularly proud to have such a long history of supporting community health, K-12 education and the arts in Philadelphia,” said Deirdre Connelly, President, NA Pharmaceuticals, GSK. “We are delighted that the smART fund with the Barnes will enhance learning for some of Philadelphia’s most disadvantaged schoolchildren for many years to come.”

Joe Neubauer the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Barnes Foundation, said, “The Barnes art collection demonstrates that creativity comes from all cultures and eras. Using our diverse collections, our goal is to spark an appreciation for art and to build critical STEM, literacy, and citizenship skills in Philadelphia schoolchildren with programs that help drive academic success by providing context to and reinforcement of core curriculum subjects.”

Barnes Foundation smART fund for Education, established by GSK, will support the following three programs, which are currently ongoing at the Barnes:

  • Pictures and Words (Kindergarten through 3rd grade) asks students to respond to works of art from the Barnes collection through narrative writing, poetry, and art-making activities. We provide a teacher’s notebook of pre and post visit literacy and art activities, and two teaching posters. Two teaching artist in-class lessons and one Barnes educator-led gallery visit; admission, busing, and teaching materials provided.
  • The Art of Looking (5th and 6th grades) is an interdisciplinary STEM curriculum exploring the elements of composition (light, line, color, space) and their connection to other subject areas. Fifth-graders examine light and shadow from artistic and scientific perspectives, and sixth-graders use mathematical vocabulary to analyze paintings. At both grade levels, students compare and contrast works of art and participate in a hands-on project in their classroom before their gallery visit. One teaching artist in-class lesson and one Barnes educator-led gallery visit; admission, busing, and teaching materials provided.
  • Crossing Boundaries (7th and 8th grades) is a cross-cultural integration of art appreciation and social studies, with a focus on varied forms of artistic expression. Seventh-graders learn about African sculpture and observe the influence of these traditions on the innovations of European modern artists. Eighth-graders examine Navajo textiles and their place in the ensembles to analyze art across geographic regions. At both grade levels, acceptance and understanding of cultural similarities and differences are encouraged through student discussion. Two teaching artist in-class lessons and one Barnes educator-led gallery visit; admission, busing, and teaching materials provided.  

About GSK:

GSK – one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies – is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer.  For further information go to, follow us on or visit our blog( 

The GSK Foundation, which was established in 1990, administers the employee matching gifts program for charitable organizations. It also has provided select endowment gifts to support the health and education needs at the local community level.  

About the Barnes Foundation
The Barnes Foundation was established by Albert C. Barnes in 1922 to "promote the advancement of education and the appreciation of the fine arts and horticulture." The Barnes holds one of the finest collections of post-impressionist and early modern paintings, with extensive holdings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Henri Rousseau, Amedeo Modigliani, Chaim Soutine and Giorgio de Chirico, as well as American masters Charles Demuth, William Glackens, Horace Pippin, and Maurice Prendergast, old master paintings, important examples of African sculpture and Native American ceramics, jewelry and textiles, American paintings and decorative arts, and antiquities from the Mediterranean region and Asia. The Barnes Foundation's Art and Aesthetics programs engage a diverse array of audiences. These programs, occurring at the Philadelphia campus, online, and in Philadelphia communities, advance the mission through progressive, experimental, and interdisciplinary teaching and learning.

Education Outreach page:


Contact:   Andrew Stewart                               Jen Armstrong     

                 The Barnes Foundation                     GSK       

                 215.278.7162                                 215-751-5664


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