My friend Mike who also has an affection for documentaries recommended the film “Art of the Steal” which centers around the amazing collection of Albert C. Barnes’ modern and post-impressionist art valued at 25 billion dollars, the fight for control over it and ultimately the take over by the people he despised. Before Philadelphia moves and adapts this collection into a crowded touristic money making machine, Grace (Design Sponge) and I wanted to experience it just the way Albert Barnes wished, in the quiet intimacy of Merion, PA.
Cameras were not allowed inside so I can only use my words to express how special it felt walking among his personal collection. Knowing that every piece hung the way he intended and being able to stand alone in a small quiet room with some of the most magnificent artists such as Picasso, Cezanne, and Renoir was an experience I’ll never forget and one I wish I could repeat often. It feels as intimate as if the art were hanging in your own living room, set in a personal context and warmth. I think Henri Matisse said it all when he said “The Barnes Foundation is the only sane place to see art in America”.
Above images taken with my Hasselblad 500c & Leica M3 and Kodak Etkar 100 film.
Below, sneaky iPhone pics of the interior.