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(Philly.com)   Man describes his role in the biggest art theft in history   (philly.com) divider line 17
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15017 clicks; posted to Main » on 11 Jun 2012 at 3:06 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-06-11 05:29:55 PM
2 votes:

lordaction: So you aren't familiar with the concept of private property I take it?



Some of us aren't a fan of control by a "dead hand" which prevents proper preservation and conservation of culturally significant works.
2012-06-11 03:49:20 PM
2 votes:

thecpt: rebelyell2006: Weidbrewer: Someone wanna give those of us who don't have our short-and-curlies all tied in big-ass knot an explanation as to WTF Subby's on about? How is moving an art installation from a (from what I've gathered here) bankrupt foundation into a museum "theft"?

A wealthy man bought massive amounts of artwork and objects of cultural/historical interest, but his will included various clauses that restricted the accessibility of his collection to a handful of art students every year, along with restrictions on how to take care of the collection and find funding for all costs related to the collection. The trustees could not agree on how to rectify the situation (some saying to let the collection remain where it was in storage with very limited public access, the others saying to move it to a public museum for all the public to see), and lawsuits started flying.

1/10


No, 1/1. I'm not typing up nine more posts on the subject.
2012-06-11 08:35:12 PM
1 votes:
I'm a professional art writer* so I'm really getting a kick...

But this is an argument where it's impossible to pick a side. Yes, the guy had what should have been an ironclad trust to protect something that was truly special and beautiful -- a heart-breakingly incredible assemblage of some of the great wonders of our time for the sole purpose of educating others and sharing his love. On the other hand, he's been dead a long time, his grudges were old ones, people "need" to see that art, and most importantly the trust wasn't able to fulfill its obligations to house, protect, and care for the art. Should something truly special, a pinnacle of human cultural achievement, be allowed to rot because the long-dead guy that paid for it first decreed it so?

In a lot of ways, moving to the Philly museum was the best possible outcome (in as much as moving to Philly can be an upgrade for anything ever because that's the worst city on Earth...and I'm from Baltimore...). I still, however, find it incredibly sad that the Barnes collection couldn't last just as Barnes had left it for time immemorial. But it wasn't to be.

* = I write books with other peoples' names on them and do unpaid work for magazines and websites...but the connections and perks are worth it.
2012-06-11 06:42:53 PM
1 votes:
I was expecting an in interview with Seth McFarlane.
2012-06-11 05:09:31 PM
1 votes:

Marcus Aurelius:
All the crises were purely manufactured with the express intention of breaking Barne's will. The City of Philadelphia had a hard-on for the collection, and they farked over Albert's last wished to get their grubby paws on it. A picture was catching sunlight? Albert says fark you AND the horse ...



Actually, you're wrong. There are a lot of problems with paintings being in direct sunlight. But that's besides the point. The first people to modify the terms of the will were the trustees themselves, because they couldn't get enough people to come visit in the first place, couldn't loan any art, and couldn't charge for admission, all because of the terms of Barnes' will. He didn't know, or have reason to know, that things would change as drastically as they did because he drafted his will a hundred years ago.
But the trustees modified the will in court several times before the Philadelphia charities stepped in to bail them out. It's not a theft. Get that through your head. The terms of the will were literally strangling the foundation.

If you want a decent write up on the situation, along with an explanation for the legal theory behind cy pres, read this journal article.

http://www.cklawreview.com/wp-content/uploads/vol85no3/Gary.pdf
2012-06-11 05:04:53 PM
1 votes:

Marcus Aurelius: Wyrdbrthr: lordaction: Wyrdbrthr: Marcus Aurelius: Wyrdbrthr: Yeah, subby, moving a museum's collection from one building to another, making it more accessible to the public is totally the same thing as stealing it.

The Barnes Foundation was NOT a museum.

Except that it was in the public trust since the 90's when the foundation went bankrupt due to the BoT's mismanagement and had to be bailed out by the state, twice, and received public funds. If it looks like a museum and quacks like a museum, it's going to be treated like one. Calling it theft is just the shrill hyperbole of the trustees.

That, and the fact that the terms of Barnes' own will was causing irreparable damage to the art itself, like putting van gogh's in direct sunlight. The new building is better for the art, as well as the public.

So you aren't familiar with the concept of private property I take it?

I'm familiar with it. Are you familiar with incompetence? Because that's what caused the problem with the Barnes in the first place- the Barnes trustees mismanaged the foundation's investments so badly it had to get bailed out by the state, and they agreed to the original move back in the 90's. It's not art theft, and calling it that minimizes the actual art theft that occurs on a daily basis.

One of the biggest collections of modernist and impressionist art is now open to the public in a gigantic facility that will be able to take care of the art that was being destroyed in the old building that housed it, because it was impossible to put in any modern conservation facilities in it. Pardon me if I don't shed a tear for the terms of Barnes' old will, which would have led to the art's eventual destruction.

All the crises were purely manufactured with the express intention of breaking Barne's will. The City of Philadelphia had a hard-on for the collection, and they farked over Albert's last wished to get their grubby paws on it. A picture was catching sunlight? Albert says fark you AND the horse ...


Yes, we get it, you know nothing about historic preservation or object conservation.
2012-06-11 04:55:34 PM
1 votes:

Umfufu: Is this some big hipster tragedy I'm supposed to show concern about??


Irony...overload...aack. *thud*
2012-06-11 04:46:33 PM
1 votes:

lordaction: Wyrdbrthr: Marcus Aurelius: Wyrdbrthr: Yeah, subby, moving a museum's collection from one building to another, making it more accessible to the public is totally the same thing as stealing it.

The Barnes Foundation was NOT a museum.

Except that it was in the public trust since the 90's when the foundation went bankrupt due to the BoT's mismanagement and had to be bailed out by the state, twice, and received public funds. If it looks like a museum and quacks like a museum, it's going to be treated like one. Calling it theft is just the shrill hyperbole of the trustees.

That, and the fact that the terms of Barnes' own will was causing irreparable damage to the art itself, like putting van gogh's in direct sunlight. The new building is better for the art, as well as the public.

So you aren't familiar with the concept of private property I take it?


I'm familiar with it. Are you familiar with incompetence? Because that's what caused the problem with the Barnes in the first place- the Barnes trustees mismanaged the foundation's investments so badly it had to get bailed out by the state, and they agreed to the original move back in the 90's. It's not art theft, and calling it that minimizes the actual art theft that occurs on a daily basis.

One of the biggest collections of modernist and impressionist art is now open to the public in a gigantic facility that will be able to take care of the art that was being destroyed in the old building that housed it, because it was impossible to put in any modern conservation facilities in it. Pardon me if I don't shed a tear for the terms of Barnes' old will, which would have led to the art's eventual destruction.
2012-06-11 03:38:49 PM
1 votes:

Weidbrewer: Someone wanna give those of us who don't have our short-and-curlies all tied in big-ass knot an explanation as to WTF Subby's on about? How is moving an art installation from a (from what I've gathered here) bankrupt foundation into a museum "theft"?


A wealthy man bought massive amounts of artwork and objects of cultural/historical interest, but his will included various clauses that restricted the accessibility of his collection to a handful of art students every year, along with restrictions on how to take care of the collection and find funding for all costs related to the collection. The trustees could not agree on how to rectify the situation (some saying to let the collection remain where it was in storage with very limited public access, the others saying to move it to a public museum for all the public to see), and lawsuits started flying.
2012-06-11 03:34:19 PM
1 votes:
Barnes??? hell I thought someone found the amber room
2012-06-11 03:14:22 PM
1 votes:
upload.wikimedia.org

Less an art theft than an "FU, dead guy, the terms of your trust are ridiculously stupid."
2012-06-11 02:48:33 PM
1 votes:
Man describes his role in the biggest art theft in history

www.archives.gov

// How about scaling that back a bit? Maybe the biggest theft of art in suburban Philly?
2012-06-11 01:38:11 PM
1 votes:

brap: I had mixed feelings about the move but, I guess since I was never able to book a Barnes Museum tour, it's probably for the best.

The Philadelphia Museum is probably one of my top three even without the addition of the Barnes collection. ROADTRIP!


And the Rodin museum is open again. It's a good time for art in Philly.
2012-06-11 12:30:14 PM
1 votes:

Marcus Aurelius: Wyrdbrthr: Yeah, subby, moving a museum's collection from one building to another, making it more accessible to the public is totally the same thing as stealing it.

The Barnes Foundation was NOT a museum.


And seriously? The art of the steal was a joke. Everyone in the art world knew it was a skewed documentary focused on controversy over substance. Even Culturegrrl, the most rabid of the museum blogs thought it went over the top.

even NPR called Argott out: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=124082706

More summaries here.

""No one seeing 'The Art of the Steal' will be left wondering where the filmmakers' sympathies are"" http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/21/movies/21barnes.html?_r=1

"[T]he new Barnes will serve as a reminder that it is possible to pay tribute to the past without surrendering to it."http://www.theartnewspaper.com/articles/The-battle's-over:-but-doe s-the-new-Barnes-work?/26496

Call it what you want, but it's not a theft. If you want to talk the biggest art heist in history, maybe check out the Gardner Museum.
2012-06-11 12:15:23 PM
1 votes:
Put down that bong,subby. Seriously.
2012-06-11 12:10:18 PM
1 votes:

Marcus Aurelius: Wyrdbrthr: Yeah, subby, moving a museum's collection from one building to another, making it more accessible to the public is totally the same thing as stealing it.

The Barnes Foundation was NOT a museum.


Except that it was in the public trust since the 90's when the foundation went bankrupt due to the BoT's mismanagement and had to be bailed out by the state, twice, and received public funds. If it looks like a museum and quacks like a museum, it's going to be treated like one. Calling it theft is just the shrill hyperbole of the trustees.

That, and the fact that the terms of Barnes' own will was causing irreparable damage to the art itself, like putting van gogh's in direct sunlight. The new building is better for the art, as well as the public.
2012-06-11 10:28:38 AM
1 votes:
Yeah, subby, moving a museum's collection from one building to another, making it more accessible to the public is totally the same thing as stealing it.
 
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