N.Y.F.F 47th :
The Art of the Steal
Coverage by Nobuhiro Hosoki
From the left, director Don Argott, Producer Sheena M. Joyce, Executive Producer Lenny Feinberg
Story : Don Argott’s documentary investigation into the long tug-of-war over the multi-billion dollar Barnes collection of paintings suggests that what may be the biggest art heist of the century is happening right now, with public money and in plain sight. Industrialist and visionary art collector Albert C. Barnes created an educational institution—which he located in Merion, PA—based on his unparalleled collection of masterworks by the likes of Van Gogh, Picasso, Cezanne, and Matisse. When he died, the Barnes Foundation carried on as his will stipulated for fifty years—until a powerful group of moneyed interests plotted to relocate the art to a new museum in Philadelphia. With the Governor, the Mayor, and several of the country’s most powerful charitable organizations on the verge of moving the Barnes, a loyal group of former students has gone to court to stop them.