a blog with cultural bulimia.

Thursday, September 25, 2003

Barnes Foundation.

One of my unfulfilled dreams has been to visit The Barnes Foundation. Tickets are very hard to get.
But it seems that things will change, according to today's NYTimes Editorial :

"Help is at hand - poetically enough, in a Pennsylvania orphans' court -” for the Barnes Foundation, the hideaway outside Philadelphia that houses one of the world's most highly prized but secluded art collections.

More than 300 Cezannes, Renoirs and Matisses glow pricelessly in the foundation's grand and remote treasure palace, created by Dr. Albert Barnes. A voracious, idiosyncratic collector who began his Impressionist and Post-Impressionist trove 80 years ago, Dr. Barnes had a vision of inspiring the common man with great art. But he housed the collection in an inaccessible estate and when he died, he locked it up with a will that forbade selling or moving any of the 2,000 pieces. His $10 million legacy spent, the foundation's trustees, appointed by the board of Lincoln University, a historically black institution, have been reduced to fighting bankruptcy and litigation.

A drawn-out, delicate struggle to break Dr. Barnes's will showed little promise until last week, when Lincoln's board agreed to a plan to move the collection to a new museum to be built in downtown Philadelphia. The plan, driven home by Gov. Edward Rendell, offers $150 million in pledges from leading foundations to update the Barnes as a showcase open to far more visitors. It also promises Lincoln closer academic ties to the collection and $50 million in new campus construction."