Thursday, September 10, 2009

"Guaranteed to upset more than a few people on both sides of the Barnes battle"

Philadelphia Inquirer film critic Stephen Rea from the Toronto Film Festival:

"Of particular interest to Philadelphia-area residents, and art lovers the world over, is Don Argott's The Art of the Steal, a conspiracy theory-documentary about the Barnes collection and its controversial move from Merion to a new site on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. ... It presents a strong case that a 'cabal' of Philadelphia power brokers past and present - including John Street, Ed Rendell, billionaire Raymond Perelman, the Pew Charitable Trusts' Rebecca Rimel, and the late publishing magnate Walter Annenberg - strategized to defy the last will and testament of billionaire collector Albert C. Barnes, ultimately succeeding in wresting hundreds of Cezannes, Matisses, Picassos, Renoirs, and van Goghs from the eccentric physician-turned-art educator's Foundation headquarters on leafy Latchs Lane to a new spot just blocks from the Philadelphia Museum of Art."