Professor Marissa Vigneault
The Art of the Steal
Albert C. Barnes, a man with an inventive outlook and an explicit objective, built the world’s greatest collection of Post-Impressionist art. After his death, Barnes left his collection and educational institution in a trust. To break apart his trust is to break apart Barnes vision. He mapped out the future of his institution, and for a time after his death, his wishes were followed. The Barnes Foundation gained more attention. With increased traffic in the suburbs, the residents complained. The building was mismanaged, and the trustees and court decided to move the collection. The move baffles Barnes’ supporters and riles up art enthusiasts. Barnes’ supporters claim his intentions became irrevocably damaged through unanticipated leadership problems, and the competing agendas of institutions. As the greatest collection of Post-Impressionist art, museums and the city of Philadelphia wanted to move the collection to an improved building where it could receive more traffic. Barnes’ trustees chose to move the collection The final say, legally, lies with the trustees. They chose to move the collection and destroy Barnes’ vision. As the best Post-Impressionist collection in the world, the Barnes deserves to be seen. The decision to move the Barnes was the right one because the building was damaged, great art belongs to everyone, and the trustees chose to do so in the end.
Albert Barnes built a nest for his…