The Arts of the Steal: Documentary About The Barnes Foundation

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The Barnes Foundation is undoubtedly one of the most significant museums of modern art. Compared with other museums, such as the Philadelphia Museum of Modern Art, the Barnes Foundation is the oldest and indeed houses the best collections of the modern era. Unlike other museums, the collections in the Barnes Foundation are arranged not by virtue of age, but by the aesthetic value of the collection. These collections were assembled by a medical practitioner Dr. Albert Barnes in the year 1922 (, 2016). Dr. Barnes did boxing in his early ages so that he could be able to pay for his university fees. As such, the humble nature of this man is underscored. Additionally, he started by discovering the substitute for silver nitrate which was used to treat venereal diseases in children. From then on, he assembled even more collections before his death. In this regard, the world was visiting the Barnes Arboretum in Merion, Pennsylvania to view the various species of trees as well as other collections of different but important aesthetic value. Indeed, from The Joy of Life collections to the Seurat Models collections, the Barnes foundation assembles the best of the best collections of the modern era.

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The Arts of the Steal is a documentary that airs the controversy surrounding the collections of Dr. Barnes (YouTube, 2016). This controversy was brought about by individuals who advocated for the movement of the collections from Merion, Pennsylvania to Philadelphia. However, these were not the wishes of the person whom assembled the collections. As such, there was the decision of the leaders to move some of the collections while there was resistance from the activists of the Museum claiming that there was no justification to move the collections. Specifically, the individuals who advocated for the transfer of the collections intended to get an opportunity to trade some of the collections as they were of very high aesthetic value. Indeed, the documentary shows when the collection started up to when dr. Barnes died and the decision was made by the local council of Philadelphia that the collections be moved to the Philadelphia museum of modern art. Several professional present their opinions on the Barnes Foundation collections

I completely agree with position taken by the documentary filmmakers that the Barnes Foundation has the best collections in the world. Unlike other museums, which contain collections that are made of the current technology, the Barnes foundation contains the collections coming out of the quality experience of Dr. Barnes as opposed to the mass experience that is exhibited by some of the other museums (YouTube, 2016). Additionally, I agree with the filmmakers that there are some of the collections that one cannot figure out. I also agree with them that there has never been such paintings in the past. However, I disagree that there will never be such paintings. Indeed, I opine that the current generation will do their best to ensure that they surpass the collections assembled in Barnes Foundation. Furthermore, I agree with the filmmakers that the relocation of the Barnes art collection to Philadelphia was meant to appease some opportunistic individuals who wanted to benefit from the high value of the paintings. From the collections, I am in agreement with the filmmakers that Dr. Barnes was passionate about pictures. I completely disagree with the views that the art was primitive and unpleasant as the collections present great moments of the US history.

References,. (2016). The Barnes Foundation - About. Retrieved 10 February 2016, from,. (2016). The Art of the Steal (2009) The Relocation of the Barnes Art Collection to Philadelphia. Retrieved 10 February 2016, from

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