Arguing 'The Art of the Steal'

The folks at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute, where The Art of the Steal begins its run Friday, March 12,  have hatched a series of special talks and receptions to address the swirl of issues and arguments surrounding the controversial documentary – about the Barnes Foundation and the battle to control its daunting collection of Cezannes, Matisses, Picassos and Renoirs. Directed by Don Argott, produced by Sheena Joyce, and executive produced by Lenny Feinberg (a former Barnes Foundation student), the film tracks the plots and intrigues, the court fights and deals, that have led to the Barnes’ planned relocation from Lower Merion to a site on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The Art of the Steal is currently packing ’em in at the Ritz Five.

Here’s the BMFI lineup:
On Monday, March 15 (beware the Ides…) Argott, Joyce and Feinberg will talk about their film.
On Tuesday, March 16, world-famous Manayunk architects Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown will discuss the Freinds of the Barnes viewpoint with Art Held Hostage: The Battle Over the Barnes Collection author John Anderson and Tom Freudeheim, former museum director and Wall Street Journal scribe.
On Sunday, March 21, Center City District chief Paul Levy and City Representative Melanie Johnson will talk about the anticipated impact of the Barnes on the Parkway, and what the potential influx of art oglers and tourist dollars could mean to the city.
On Monday March 22, attorneys John Hook and Christina Fournaris discuss the legal issues surrounding trusts, wills and estates, and how Barnes’ last wishes were honored, and were not.
And on Friday March 26, former state senator Constance Williams and other panelists will discuss the doc and the Barnes in the context of cultural philanthropy.
For time and ticket information for these special screenings and discussions, check www.BrynMawrFilm.org, or call the theater hotline at 610-527-9898

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