Here’s how this week’s arts and culture column begins:
I first came upon the painter Horace Pippin on a trip several years ago to Philadelphia’s Barnes Foundation, an art collection and educational institution boasting one of the world’s greatest collections of impressionist, post-impressionist, and early modernist paintings.
Albert C. Barnes (1872-1951), a wealthy businessman with cash to burn, in his 40s started traveling to Europe to study and collect art.
Barnes was irascible, eccentric and passionate. He hung his collection according to his own idiosyncratic tastes, and left strict instructions in his will that the works were to be left exactly as he had arranged them upon his death.
The subsequent lawsuits, the 2012 moving of the collection to its current site on Benjamin Franklin Parkway (critic Jed Perl observed “The Barnes Foundation, that grand old curmudgeonly lion of a museum, has been turned into what may be the world’s most elegant petting zoo”), and ongoing squabbles make for fascinating reading.
READ THE WHOLE PIECE HERE.