Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Art of the Steal Film Review by Katherine Pacheco

While watching The Art of the Steal, I was amazed that Albert Barnes, who studied medicine, was able to amass such an amazing modern art collection before artists like Renoir, Picasso, and Matisse were recognized as pioneers toward the movement. I seemed to agree with Barnes' idea of keeping such famous pieces in a collection based around education, and thought it was hysterical that Barnes wouldn't let prominent figures like a NY art critic into the foundation, but would let in someone like a plumber. He carried his collection like a newborn child, only letting those he trusted or were genuinely interested in the artwork near them. It really saddens me to see that something Barnes cared for so greatly and meticulously fought to keep preserved and private after his death was literally stolen from him by modern day museums who simply chose to ignore his final will and take what they wanted. Not to mention that a lawsuit fighting the ownership of the Barnes collection failed, and that his spectacular collection isn't even presented in the same fashion that he had originally set it up on the walls of the foundation, which was designed so that each piece could complement another. I hope maybe in the future, the collection may be able to make it back to Lincoln U or even the Barnes Foundation building, but without all of the tourism that congested the surrounding residential areas.

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