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"The Art of The Steal"--Film Review
The Art of the Steal, directed by Don Argott
"The Art of the Steal" is a compelling documentary with an "edge" which tells the story of how the elite Philadelphia art, business, publishing and political establishment conspired to "steal" the priceless Barnes art collection from Merion, Pennsylvania, by breaking the will of Dr. Albert C. Barnes, which established the Barnes Foundation in 1922 to preserve his educational institution and care for his incomparable collection of impressionist, post-impressionist and modern art. The "conspirators" are now in the process of moving the Barnes collection to a new site to provide a tourist attraction in downtown Philadelphia.
The priceless value of the Barnes Collection was illustrated in the documentary by showing the sale of a Van Gogh painting, inferior to any of the seven at Barnes, for $45 million. Some put the total value of the collection at $45 billion, well beyond the reach of any individual collector or museum. The Annenberg and Pew foundations managed to capture the collection and move it to Philadelphia for a tiny fraction of this value. Antagonism between Dr. Barnes and Walter Annenberg, owner of the Philadelphia Enquirer, and other members of the Philadelphia art, political and business establishment had simmered for years before Dr. Barnes death in 1951.
The 1 hour 50 minute documentary tells the story of Dr. Barnes life and remarkable collection which he assembled early in the 20th century before the art museum establishment recognized the value of impressionist and post-impressionist art. His collection included choice examples of paintings by Renoir (181), Cezanne (69), Matisse (59), Picasso (46), Rousseau (18), Degas (11) Van Gogh (7), Manet (4), Monet (4). The collection also includes important examples of American paintings, Asian and African art and sculpture.
About the Barnes Foundation
- The Barnes Foundation - About Barnes
Barnes Foundation was est. by Albert Barnes in 1922 to "promote the advancement of education and the appreciation of the fine arts." The Foundation is home to one of the world's largest collections of impressionist, post-impressionist and modern art.
"The Art of the Steal" Official Trailer
3-27-13NYTimes "Barnes Foundation Restores Greek Vessel"
- Barnes Foundation Restores Greek Vessel and Its Founder’s Room 17 - NYTimes.com
At the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia conservators are piecing together a Greek antiquity that was a centerpiece of one of Albert C. Barnes’s meticulously arranged galleries.
- Protesters at New Barnes Museum Groundbreaking
Proponents and opponents of moving the multibillion-dollar Barnes Collection attended the ground-breaking ceremony of its new downtown Philadelphia home on Friday. Philanthropists and members of the city's arts community celebrated at the event.
Dr. Albert C. Barnes Wikibio
- Albert Coombs Barnes
Albert Coombs Barnes (1872 1951) was an American inventor and art collector. With the fortune made from the development of the antiseptic drug Argyrol, he founded the Barnes Foundation, a museum created from his private collection.
7-11-11NYTimes--Barnes Foundation Closes its Doors
- An Interactive Tour Through the Barnes Foundation - NYTimes.com
Take an interactive tour with Randy Kennedy through the Barnes Foundation, one of America's strangest art museums since the day its doors opened in 1925.
2-26-10 NYTimes--Manola Dargis Review of "The Art of the Steal"
- Manola Dargis Review of "The Art of the Steal"
But contracts can be broken, wills challenged, legacies dismantled. And in the years after Barness death, the collection became the focus of a fascinating fight among an array of interests.
Friends of the Barnes Foundation Website
Philadelphia Museum--Picasso and the Avant Garde in Paris
- Philadelphia Museum of Art - Exhibitions : Current Exhibitions
Internationally recognized as one of the most innovative and influential artists of the twentieth century, Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 18811973) was at his most ferociously inventive between 1905 and 1945. Picasso and the Avant-Garde in Paris surveys his
- Yo, Pablo: Picasso and the Avant-Garde in Paris at the Philadelphia Museum of Art | Bob Duggan | Big
Who are the artists people who know nothing about art know? Van Gogh? Michelangelo? Picasso? For museums trying to increase traffic, drawing in the non-art lover is more important than ever. Shows such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art's Picasso...