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Flash Movie Review: The Art of the Steal

I think we can all agree that a deceased individual’s wishes listed in their will should be honored. It would be unthinkable for me to not only ignore the person’s wishes but to take contrarian actions. This issue was at the heart of this gripping documentary. From a working class, Philadelphia family; Albert C. Barnes became a successful doctor who had a keen eye for art. He amassed a collection of modern and post-impressionist art before many others realized how important Picasso or Matisse would become in the art world. The established art critics scoffed at his colleciton which was something Dr. Barnes would never forget. What was known as the Barnes collection was a priceless accumulation the doctor had housed in a specially built building in Merion, just outside of Philadelphia. I was shocked when glimpses were shown of the hanging masterpieces. Besides the amazing amount of artwork on display, the pieces were absolutely impressive. I realize anyone who makes a documentary could be biased in regards to their views. However, when this movie presented different aspects of events and what possibly was taking place behind the scenes, I was saddened. The bottom line for me was listed in Dr. Barnes’ will: The  artwork was never to be loaned, moved or sold. How could people be so greedy and not respect a dead man’s wishes? What would give them the right? Watch this DVD and decide for yourself.


3 1/3  stars — DVD

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