Still Collection not alone as new documentary portrays
As Denver readies for the Clyfford Still Museum an excellent film is set to hit theaters on On February 26, 2010. The must-see documentary getting a theatrical release courtesy of IFC Films is “The Art of the Steal.” The film tells the David and Goliath story of what happened to the thirty billion dollar private art collection amassed by Dr. Albert Barnes after his death. The film documents the struggle between those loyal to his will and the foundations eager to house the collection in a public Philadelphia museum – an act that violated the terms of the will.
While the film is strongly biased towards the former, it is this strong point of view that gives the story its emotional heft; the audience has someone (or rather people) to root for. And similar to many good stories, this too has villains – the foundations and unfortunately the teams that run them. Portrayed as power / money-hungry, the foundations are clearly looking out for their best interests first and foremost.
Meanwhile Dr. Albert Barnes is portrayed as a cantankerous man who had a penchant for “sticking it to the man,” due to the initial rejection of his art collection by the esteemed Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
The outcome – a really great story portrayed on film worthy of your time.