Posterity Denied: The Hijacking of the Barnes Foundation

The "only sane place" to view art in America, according to Henri Matisse, is set to close its doors for good this Sunday.  The Albert Barnes Foundation, a profoundly simple museum set on the outskirts of Philadelphia, will have its 800-painting collection, valued at an astonishing twenty-five billion dollars, moved to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, in a new addition cheduled to open in the Spring of 2012.  At first glance, this seems all well and good.  The public will now have access to a one-of-a-kind collection of impressionist and modernist masteries -- just as Mr. Barnes would want, right? Unfortunately, the facts surrounding the upending of the Barnes collection tell a very different story.  The State of Pennsylvania, through political pressure and judicial maneuvering, used the overreaching arm of the state to dismantle and destroy a man's legacy and life's work.  Albert Barnes, after amassing a fortune from the antiseptic Argyrol, committed his life...(Read Full Article)

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