In the Press
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.”
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