IMDb > The Art of the Steal (2009)
The Art of the Steal
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The Art of the Steal (2009) More at IMDbPro »

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The Art of the Steal -- A documentary that follows the struggle for control of Dr. Albert C. Barnes' 25 billion dollar collection of modern and post-impressionist art.

Overview

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7.6/10   1,603 votes »
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The true story of a multi-billion dollar art heist and how they got away with it.
Plot:
Documentary that follows the struggle for control of Dr. Albert C. Barnes' 25 billion dollar collection of modern and post-impressionist art. | Add synopsis »
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Awards:
1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Jeremiad of a Soon Lost Treasure See more (29 total) »

Cast

 
Julian Bond ... Himself - Chairman of the Board, NAACP
David D'Arcy ... Himself - Correspondent, The Art Newspaper
Richard Feigen ... Himself - World-Renowned Art Dealer (as Richard L. Feigen)
Richard H. Glanton ... Himself - Former President, Barnes Foundation
Christopher Knight ... Himself, Los Angeles Times
Ross L. Mitchell ... Himself - Former Director of Education, Barnes Foundation
Irv Nahan ... Himself - Former Teacher, Barnes Foundation
Harry Sefarbi ... Himself - Artist & Former Teacher, Barnes Foundation
John F. Street ... Himself - Mayor of Philadelphia (as John Street)
Nick Tinari ... Himself - Attorney & Former Barnes Foundation Student
Robert Zaller ... Himself - Professor of History & Politics, Drexel University (as Dr. Robert Zaller)

Directed by
Don Argott 
 
Produced by
Lenny Feinberg .... executive producer
Gary E. Irwin .... line producer
Sheena M. Joyce .... producer
 
Original Music by
West Dylan Thordson 
 
Cinematography by
Don Argott 
 
Film Editing by
Demian Fenton 
 
Sound Department
Gary E. Irwin .... sound
Bob Schachner .... sound mixer
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Ben Hickernell .... additional camera operator
 
Editorial Department
Judah-Lev Dickstein .... associate editor
Rob Giglio .... colorist
John-Michael Trojan .... post-production coordinator
 
Music Department
Susan Jacobs .... music supervisor
Suzana Peric .... music editor
Albert Thrower .... music clearance
Jonathan Zalben .... music clearance
 
Other crew
Susan Norget .... publicist
Justin Wineburgh .... production counsel
Matt Wolford .... post production coordinator
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
  • DIVE  post-production (color grading)
  • DIVE  sound post-production (sound mix)

Additional Details

Runtime:
Canada:101 min (Toronto International Film Festival) | USA:101 min
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32 out of 36 people found the following review useful.
Jeremiad of a Soon Lost Treasure, 25 March 2010
Author: J_Trex from Philadelphia

I've lived in the Philly area my entire life & followed the Barnes Foundation saga from the very beginning until its tawdry denouement and I don't understand some of the bizarre postings above.

No doubt the filmmakers had an agenda, which was that the Barnes should stay in Merion but the power brokers in Harrisburg and Philly colluded to drive it into the ground to force the move to the BF Parkway, which was entirely at odds with Dr. Barnes Last Will & Testament.

This was pretty convincingly driven home by the movie.

The collection isn't invitation only, you simply request a timed ticket on their website and you're in. The entrance fee is a reasonable $15 and the museum housing the collection is truly world class, on par with the Villa Borghese in Rome or the Frick in Manhatten, only better. It is truly one of a kind, one of the treasures of the art world.

It's true that the Barnes was mismanaged by Richard Glanton, the President of the Trustees, during the 1990's. His lawsuit against the Merion Neighbors Association was as disastrous as it was idiotic. But that was no excuse to move the whole operation to the Parkway. It seems it would have been quite easy to raise the money to keep it at Merion.

Who cares if the number of eyeballs weren't maximized? It was never intended to be run that way. And after Episcopal Academy moved away from it's previous City Line Ave location, an entrance from Route 1 (City Line Ave) could have easily been paved (Episcocal even offered to donate the land to make it happen, a fact oddly not mentioned in the film). This would have entirely eliminated the neighbors complaints. However, those talks went nowhere (did the power brokers intervene to squash that also?) Saint Joseph's University ended up buying the entire Episcopel property. I have no doubt SJU would have been more than willing to work something out with a treasure like the Barnes. Having a world renowned art institution as a neighbor would be woth that much, at least.

The question arises, "what would Barnes think of the move?". He despised the stuffy, Republican WASPs that ran Philadelphia and who looked down their noses at the upstart Barnes and his post impressionist art. He left control in his will to the downtrodden African Americans who ran Lincoln University, as a way to "stick it" to the powers that be. But now that those outsiders are actually the insiders, and helped engineer the move to the Parkway, would Barnes object? Who really knows.

In any event, I thought the documentary was great & recommend it highly.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Art of the Steal (2009)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
The fact is this...this is Mr. Barnes art tbat82
Movie does not answer obvious question SurrenderToto
Music Gia258
Dr. Barnes was a d-bag. the_mingk
What this movie is really about KolaDude
if the art in this place is worth 20+ billion dollars defcaliber585
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