The Barnes Foundation Gallery will close its long-time location in Merion, Pennsylvania, at the former estate of its founder, Dr. Albert Barnes, on July 3, 2011 and relocate to downtown Philadelphia.
The renowned private collection contains upwards of 9,000 works of art and is worth more than $25 billion. The collection consists predominantly of French Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and early Modern paintings by such artists as Renoir, Cézanne and Matisse, among others.
The relocation has been quite controversial. Opponents say that Dr. Barnes’ will contains instructions stating that the Foundation should always be an educational institution, and that the paintings may never be removed. The proponents for relocation have financial interests and also state that moving the collection will give more people the opportunity to see the collection.
A documentary, “The Art of the Steal,” chronicles the long and dramatic struggle for control of the Barnes Foundation. The Collectors of GMOA presented this documentary at Ciné in July 2010.