Sally Hammel's film review on "The Art of the Steal"
I can only say that it's a good thing that Albert Barnes is no longer around to see what is becoming of his fantastic collection! I certainly envy him his ability to choose and collect some of the finest pieces of art BEFORE the art museums recognized their value, and I believe his vision was correct in keeping the gallery small in Marion County, for educational purposes… What I would give in order to have studied under him! I can perfectly understand the attempts of his students and teachers to protect his will and desires to keep the art as it is, on the walls of the Lincloln University. I believe that the Philidelphia foundations; PEW Charitable Trusts, Annenberg Foundation, and Lenfest Foundation are a bunch of bullies and dishonest money grubbers to even try to take his collection to Philidelphia, let alone get away with it!
That being said, I'm a little greedy myself, in that I'm pretty sure that I would never have the opportunity to view this collection for myself if it stayed where Barnes wanted it to, and I will now make every effort to get to Philidelphia to see it because I am now able to. He doesn't have any heirs to contest the treatment of his collection (Oh, how I wish I could claim that somehow!) and the City of Philidelphia will certainly profit from this move but I don't actually see any of these awful people benefitting individually from it. As I see it, the art goes to the Philidelphia Museum of Art and becomes public domain. Did I miss something? If not, I actually believe that this move will benefit our society as a whole, letting more people have the opportunity to view it.
The people in Barnes' Foundation protected his will as well as they could and the director of this movie, Don Argott and the producer, Sheena M. Joyce are certainly on their side, but it might just be time to let the public (even those that Barnes hated) see it.