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Lack of Clear Vision, Viewpoint Handcuffs ‘The Art of the Steal’

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CHICAGO – Remember the golden rule? Those who have the gold makes the rules. An illustration of this point is in the new documentary “The Art of the Steal,” a stark reminder of territorial power regarding a valuable art collection.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

Albert C. Barnes was a Philadelphia-based visionary when it came to collecting the art of post-modern impressionism in the early 20th century. Having made a fortune as a drug manufacturer, Barnes turned to art appreciation and began to collect the works of Renoir, Cézanne, Matisse, Picasso and other impressionism masters, long before they became the most valuable and prized items in the art world.

Barnes preferred not to break up his collection and wanted it displayed in a certain way in his small educational foundation in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, several miles from the epicenter of the art scene in Philadephia. This began the struggle, as the wealthy in Philadelphia desired the collection, now worth much more than anyone expected, to reside in the art museums there.

Barnes died in a automobile accident in 1951, and left specific legal instructions on how to handle his art collection. So began the titanic conflict between the legal wishes of an art collector versus the benefactors, state government and monetary forces that desire to move the works elsewhere.

This is a tricky story. On one hand you have an owner of an art collection, who has been dead nearly 60 years, and the collection is now worth 25 billion dollars. On the other hand, there are forces that want to possess the collection (state and local), remove it from the Barnes Foundation and place it among the tourist attractions in Philadelphia.

”The Art of the Steal” continues its limited release nationwide in Chicago on March 12th. Check local listings for theater locations. Directed by Don Argott.

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Art of the Steal”

Sunday in the Park: “Models” by Georges Seurat, Part of the Barnes Foundation Collection Shown in ‘The Art of the Steal’
Sunday in the Park: “Models” by Georges Seurat, Part of the Barnes Foundation Collection Shown in ‘The Art of the Steal’
Photo Credit: The Barnes Foundation

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Art of the Steal”

Anonymous's picture

Barnes Stolen w/$137 MILLION In PUBLIC DOLLARS

With due respect, aren’t the people who are being robbed here really the Taxpayers? In this time when tax dollars are a precious commodity, how can the Pew and Annenberg Trusts justify soaking the taxpayers for $137 MILLION in Public Funds to build a 2ND RATE REPLICA of a Museum we already have. Whenever I think about it I am reminded by that Frank Zappa Tune when he says to the waiting Bimbette in the WET T*SHIRT CONTESTAND, NOW, FOR THE ICE-PICK IN THE FOREHEAD!” and she screams “YAY!” PA wanted to sell its turnpike to Spain (the first T-Pike in AMERICA) because PA doesn’t have enough money to fund pensions. PA is begging for a Federal funds FEMA SNOW BAILOUT - even though it is a snow state - BeCAUSE it doesn’t have enough money. PA wants to TOLL Intersate 80 which will raise the cost of goods shipped to your State BeCaUsE it doesn’t have enough money. BUT PA HAS ENOUGH MONEY TO STEAL ART? The Public must be as dumb as Zappa’s Bimbette to take this foul BARNES MOVE FIASCO. WRITE OBAMA AND DEMAND THAT HE INVOKE THE ANTIQUITIES ACT TO PRESERVE THE BARNES IN MERION. STOP PA’S BRIDGE TO NOWHERE OR STOP THE FLOW OF FEDERAL FUNDS TO THE WASTERELS PENNSYLVANIA & PHILTYDELPHIA!! See Barnesfriends.org

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