I just noticed this posting about an event at the Johnson Museum tomorrow at another Ithaca-based art blog, The Thinking Eye.
“This Sunday, at 2pm, Cornell’s Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art will be offering a public screening of “The Art of the Steal,” director Don Argott’s acclaimed 2009 documentary about the controversy. As indicated by the title, the film is an unashamedly biased polemic against the move. In the words of LA Times art critic Christopher Knight (one of its many interviewees) “is a riveting — and tragic — documentary film chronicling the gratuitous ruin of a school outside Philadelphia that houses an incomparable art collection. It’s a classic story of destroying the village in order to save it.”
I feel compelled to post the general info about the event because I saw Art of the Steal last year and really enjoyed watching it, as it centers around the inner power struggles that have been taking place behind the scenes at the Barnes Foundation, a museum outside Philadelphia which happens to one of America’s most important (if lesser known) collections of Western art. (I learned this from the film.)
I wish I had known about this event earlier. It probably means I’m not paying attention. Thanks to Arthur Whitman who writes the Thinking Eye for the heads up.
If you haven’t seen this film, or even if you have, this event sounds like the perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon in Ithaca. And what’s more, following the showing there will be a panel discussion featuring Cornell English professor Jeremy Braddock, grad student and preservationist Nathaniel Guest and Barnes curator Martha Lucy. It promises to complicate the perspective offered by what some have claimed is an overly one-sided film. Lucy will also be giving a lecture the following Monday with the tantalizing title “Why We Love to Hate Renoir.” It will be held at 5pm at the Ruth Woolsey Findley History of Art Gallery at Goldwin Smith Hall and will be followed by a reception. Both events are free and open to the public.