In 1922 Dr. Albert C. Barnes created The Barnes Foundation in Lower Merion, Pennsylvania, five miles outside of Philadelphia. His astounding collection of Post-Impressionist and early Modern art, intended to serve as an educational institution, includes 181 Renoirs, 69 Cezannes, 59 Matisses, 46 Picassos, 16 Modiglianis, and 7 Van Goghs. Dr. Barnes deliberately built his Foundation away from the city and cultural elite who scorned his collection as "horrible, debased art." But tastes changed, and soon the very people who belittled Barnes wanted access to his collection. When Barnes died in 1951, he left control of his collection to Lincoln University, a small African-American college, with strict instructions that the paintings may never be removed. More than fifty years later, a powerful group of moneyed interests have gone to court in a rancorous, Machiavellian attempt to take the art—recently valued at more than $25 billion—and move it to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Official Web Site

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Director Don Argott on the passion of Dr. Albert C. Barnes


Don Argott

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