Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Wonders (and Turmoil) of The Barnes

In my previous art blog, I described an art collector named Dr. Albert Barnes. (See: "A Most Irascible Art Collector") Prior to Dr. Barnes' death, he set up a foundation to maintain and preserve his art collection.

Dr. Barnes did not like the museum way of exhibiting art. He saw his art collection, horticulture and architecture as a source of education. Therefore, he saw the collection as integral to its location in Merion, PA. (about 5 miles from Philadelphia)

To make sure that all would remain intact, Dr. Barnes set up a foundation. That's how the Barnes' extensive collection of impressionism and post-impressionism arts were treated until recent times.

As it happens, a collection valued at 6 BILLION dollars, is well, real money. Those who, working for the good of the public, decided that it should be open to the public as a museum and have wrested control from Merion, PA. (If you are interested in finding out more about how this control was taken, check out the documentary, "Art of the Steal" )

Below are renderings of the new museum located in Philadelphia. (The Merion, PA. building is above, left)

Besides the Renoir above of the little girl, here are a very small glimpse of the collection including Matisse, Picasso, Modigliani and Cezanne:


  1. I haven't seen the documentary, but I've read about it. Looks like the powers that be really got control of an amazing collection after all. GB

  2. Just awful. Like Will Rogers' clear stipulation that his museum home be free to the public forever - and the city gets around it by charging for parking. Nothing lasts forever - only the earth and sky, best case scenario. Let the grave-spinning begin. Wish I'd had an opportunity to see it. Lili

  3. I watched the movie about this. It is sad, on every account. Mary I.

  4. I am really enjoying your blog. Yuki