The Art of the Steal

Rated NR 101 min. 2010

– In the 1920s, physician and pharmaceutical millionaire Albert C. Barnes amassed one of the world’s largest and most important collections of Post-Impressionist, early Modern, and African tribal art, and set it in his private school outside Philadelphia, dedicated to teaching his employees and other working people the finer things in life. But after Dr. Barnes’ death, the Barnes Foundation’s treasures were coveted by the Philadelphia art establishment, which had previously scorned the works as “debased art.” Competing values, the transitory nature of “legacies,” and the power of money are the subjects of this intriguing documentary by Don Argott, who chronicles the circuitous route the Barnes collection took, from unselfish idealism to commercial exploitation. A must-see for museum-goers (101 min.).

Film Credits

Director: Don Argott

Producer: Sheena M. Joyce

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The Art of the Steal

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