BACKSTORY: The Barnes Foundation houses one of the finest collections of nineteenth and twentieth-century French painting in the world. An extraordinary number of masterpieces by Renoir, Cezanne, and Matisse provide a depth of work by these artists unavailable elsewhere. Established as an educational institution by Albert Barnes, the Foundation carries out its mission teaching classes in its galleries and Arboretum. It may be hard to believe, but this collection is in extreme danger, as a very powerful faction has moved ahead in their attempt to move the collection from its present home (built specifically for this art) into a brand new building 5 miles away where it can serve the interests of tourism and clout. Albert Barnes put together a trust agreement to prevent his collection from being sold, moved, or lent; yet 50 years after his death, this is exactly what this faction accomplished. Below, you can see photos of the original Barnes Museum in Merion, and its lackluster faux version now situated in Philadelphia.
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