The Art of the Steal

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Released 2009

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The Art of the Steal

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Director:
Don Argott
Released:
2009
Rating:
Not Available
The Art of the Steal is a documentary chronicling the massive and rare collection of Post-Impressionist and early Modern Art accrued by Albert Barnes. Barnes made his fortune around the turn of the century from the invention of an antiseptic. Among many other works of art, he amassed 181 Renoirs, 59 Matisses, 46 Picassos and 7 Van Goghs. Along with his unrivaled passion for art, he also had an intent dislike for the politicians in Philadelphia. They openly mocked him, and for that Barnes chose to keep his collection private, outside the city. Ultimately, he built a museum in Merion, Pennsylvania, limited visitors and used the works mainly as a teaching tool. Upon his death in 1951, Barnes' will stated the collection should never be loaned out or sold. Viollete de Mazia, a close follower, carried out his wishes as she ran the foundation that controlled the art. Upon her death in 1988, various groups have been petitioning and struggling to get their hands on the art. There was a breaking of the trust and the art has been loaned out and taken on tour, and now there are still unresolved issues that sit in the court system. Should Albert Barnes' art remain at his own personal museum, as per his will, or should the world be gifted the beauty of some of the best artists ever to pick up a brush?moreless

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    Categories

    Arts, Documentary

    Themes

    Painting, Politics, History, Crime & Conspiracy, Biography