Modern Salon Walls and a Visit to The Barnes Foundation

As you can tell, one of the things I love blogging about is art.  With an ever-expanding collection of favorite pieces, I am always in search of ideas of how to hang my art in a unique way.  On a recent visit to The Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, I was struck by Albert Barnes’ “ensembles”.  To me they stood out as the blueprint for today’s salon walls that are all the rage in interior design.

Barnes was one of the first people to arrange his art collection, not by specific genres or regional aesthetics, but by how he felt the works spoke to and related to each other.  He hung African masks next to European paintings, and Asian art next to Native American textiles.  For Barnes, one of America’s most avid art collectors, his ensembles were about showcasing the creative expression of a variety of artists.  They way he hung his art focused on telling the story of the pieces he loved, and bucked against the rigid curatorial rules dictated at the time.

So, in honor of Albert Barnes, let’s focus on new and unique ways to hang and showcase our art to tell the story of the pieces we love in our own homes.  I love this idea of using simple wooden hangers for a rotating collection of prints.  Don’t you?

In this living room, a room divider works double-duty as a gallery wall.  An eclectic collection of paintings, prints, and illustrations framed and unframed fit together beautifully against the bright white backdrop.

At the DwellStudio showroom in Soho, abstract pieces, portraits, and a metallic piece of sculpture all hang together combined by a color palette of black, white and gold.

And at Kate Spade New York, postcards and other collected pieces are all part of the salon wall experience.

Don’t be afraid to mix up your salon wall displays and add sculptures, masks, even beautiful textiles that stand out to you as works of art.  In the end, have fun and hang beautiful pieces that continue to inspire you.

View more modern salon walls on our Pinterest board >

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