|The Art of the Steal – Trailer
A celebrated selection of the Sundance, Toronto, New York and AFI Film Festivals, Don Argott’s gripping documentary THE ART OF THE STEAL chronicles the long and dramatic struggle for control of the Barnes Foundation, a private collection of art valued at more than $25 billion. A riveting look at the divisive politics of powerful institutions, the film is an un-missable investigation of the one of the art world’s most fascinating controversies. In 1922, Dr. Albert C. Barnes formed a remarkable educational institution around his priceless collection of Post-Impressionist and early Modern art, located just five miles outside of Philadelphia. At its inception, the city’s cultural elite had scorned the collection as “horrible, debased art”, but soon times and tastes changed. Now, more than 50 years after Barnes’ death, a powerful group of moneyed interests have gone to court for control of the art, and intend bring it to a new museum in Philadelphia. Standing in their way is a vocal group of Barnes’ former students, and Barnes’ will, which contained strict instructions stating the Foundation shall always be an educational institution, and the paintings may never be removed. Will they succeed, or will a man’s will be broken and one of America’s greatest cultural monuments be destroyed?
Directed by: Don Argott