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In the Press

•   Latest in the Press

•   FBF Press Releases

•   Letters

•   Quotations From Withering Criticism From Around the Country

•   Edward J. Sozanski Columns

•   Drexel University Debate

•   Reviews on the documentary “The Art of the Steal” 

From across the country, critics, curators, historians, and concerned citizens have voiced their opposition to the plan to move the Barnes Foundation.  The common theme is the importance of preserving one of the world's great sites of art and culture from needless destruction.  The common emotions range from profound dismay to anguish, all underscored with frustration over the hubris that has brought us to this.

This archive is a mere sampling of what has been said in opposition to the move of the Barnes art collection.  The weight of the commentary stands in contrast to the disturbing dearth of reporting from Philadelphia’s main newspaper, The Philadelphia Inquirer

With the exception of the Inquirer’s art critic, Edward J. Sozanski, and extensive reporting in 2005 by Patricia Horn, the paper has not reported the full story about the Barnes Foundation and has, until very recently, ignored the existence and substance of the strong opposition movement in Friends of the Barnes Foundation.

This serious lapse has left the Inquirer’s readers uninformed and, consequently, misinformed. Through this website, Friends of the Barnes Foundation hopes to fill that information gap.

To set the scene, we begin with John Anderson, author of the book, Art Held Hostage.  His article “Another Legal Theft” was published in the Wall Street Journal on September 25, 2003:

You'd think the city's philanthropic and cultural elite would have been eager to help an internationally renowned institution in its own backyard. But things weren't that simple. When Ms. Camp (former Director of the Barnes Foundation) went begging for financial support, its members said no--or gave a dribble here and a drab there. On one occasion, says Ms. Camp, she approached Raymond Perelman, the multimillionaire father of billionaire Ron Perelman, who was then board chairman of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. He "stuck out his hand, and he said he'd be happy to give money, 'as soon as you give me this.' And I said: 'Give you what?' And he said: 'The keys--the keys to the Barnes.'    "Once again, powerful forces within the Philadelphia art community were conspiring to take over a priceless collection.”
Full story

Latest in the Press

Disgruntled? Albert Barnes

June 2013
"The new Barnes is forgetting its founding principles" Letter to the editor by Evelyn Yaari in The Art Newspaper
Text of the letter - PDF
Full Story

June 2011
“When Will We get Past the Tempest-in-a-Teapot Fight Over an Art Collection?” by Liz Spikol in Philadelphia magazine
“This month, the Barnes Foundation shuts its Merion doors for good. Unfortunately, until sometime in 2012, the artwork from the museum will be unavailable to visitors. Fortunately, we have a vain chance that people will shut up about the whole thing for a while.”
Full story

March 28, 2011
“Barnes Foundation seeks dismissal of court petition ,”
by Christopher Knight in The Los Angeles Times (Culture Monster) 
“I'm no lawyer, but I have to say I'm surprised. Apparently the Barnes is hoping the judge won't be reading too closely.”
Full story

March 13, 2011
“The Barnes Museum's move to Philadelphia — and possibly oblivion,” by Tom Freudenheim and Robert Zaller, in The Los Angeles Times
“The transfer will cost hundreds of millions, and unrealistic budgetary projections will put the very institution at risk.”
Full story

February 27, 2011
“Judge rules on Barnes petition,” by Cheryl Allison in Main Line Media News
“Against what many would have said were very steep odds, it appears the much-debated move of the Barnes Foundation’s art is headed back to court – if perhaps only briefly.”
Full Story

Read More - News Archive

Latest Friends of the Barnes Foundation (FBF) Press Releases


March 22, 2013
Dr. Barnes exhibit removed from Parkway building

Letter to Gillman
Brett Miller’s letter to Jean Cutler

July 2, 2012
Petition filed in superior court over new evidence about Barnes Foundation's alleged former money problems

May 16, 2012
Fact Sheet

May 16, 2012
Friends of the Barnes Foundation Bear Witness
An American legacy Stolen, Degraded


Parker Fritz

May 8, 2012
Friends of the Barnes Foundation Decry Intimidation Tactics by PA Attorney General

March 12, 2012
Barnes Foundation's Preservation Advocates Slapped with $25,000 Fine for Seeking Justice
Ott's Order

Read More - FBF Press Release - Archive


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