This is a must see documentary for anyone interested in the art world. I walked out of the theater shaking my head in disbelief!
The Art of the Steal follows the struggle for control of Dr. Albert C. Barnes’ 25 billion dollar collection of modern and post-impressionist art collection of, a treasury of works by Renoir (181 of them), Cezanne (69), Van Gogh (7), Seurat (6), Picasso (46) and Matisse (59), to name just a few, all of it tucked away in the Philadelphia suburb of Lower Merion in a Paul Cret-designed villa Barnes built for it in 1924. The collection contains some of the key works of early Modernism, including Cezanne’s Nudes in a Landscape and The Card Players, Seurat’s Models and Matisse’s The Joy of Life, jewel in the crown of his fauve period.
An un-missable look at one of the art worlds most fascinating controversies and a celebrated selection of the Toronto, New York and AFI Film Festivals, Don Argotts gripping documentary THE ART OF THE STEAL chronicles the long and dramatic struggle for control of the Barnes Foundation, a private collection of art valued at more than $25 billion. In 1922, Dr. Albert C. Barnes formed a remarkable educational institution around his priceless collection of art, located just five miles outside of Philadelphia. Now, more than 50 years after Barnes death, a powerful group of moneyed interests have gone to court for control of the art, and intend to bring it to a new museum in Philadelphia. Standing in their way is a group of Barnes former students and his will, which contains strict instructions stating the Foundation should always be an educational institution, and that the paintings may never be removed. Will they succeed, or will a mans will be broken and one of Americas greatest cultural monuments be destroyed?