IMDb > The Art of the Steal (2009)
The Art of the Steal
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

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

Photos (See all 4 | slideshow) Videos (see all 2)
The Art of the Steal -- A thrilling whodunit about the heist of the century and the fate of the world's most valuable modern art collection.
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.


User Rating:
7.7/10   1,751 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Down 13% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
View company contact information for The Art of the Steal on IMDbPro.
The true story of a multi-billion dollar art heist and how they got away with it.
Documentary that follows the struggle for control of Dr. Albert C. Barnes' 25 billion dollar collection of modern and post-impressionist art. | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
The greatest theft ever committed See more (30 total) »


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

Canada:101 min (Toronto International Film Festival) | USA:101 min

Did You Know?

LookingSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
3 out of 4 people found the following review useful.
The greatest theft ever committed, 19 January 2013
Author: napierslogs from Ontario, Canada

"The Art of the Steal" is about not only the greatest art theft in the world, but probably the greatest crime ever committed. And at this point, let's define "greatest". In this sense, "great" means comparatively large in size or number, unusual or considerable in power or intensity, and of an extreme or notable degree. It does not mean wonderful, first-rate, or good. This theft wasn't even deemed a crime in the first place and was committed by mobsters, city of Philadelphia politicians, and educators.

The documentary follows the story chronologically. It starts with Dr. Albert C. Barnes' educating himself about art and building an immense art collection. He's a good guy. He wanted to appreciate art for art's sake, not for its perceived value. He started the Barnes Foundation, complete with approximately $30 Billion dollars worth of art work by some of the world's most eminent painters. And, yes, that's Billion with a "B". The legal articles of incorporation for the Barnes Foundation made it very clear that this was a private, educational institution. Art students were encouraged to sign-up for classes or a visit. The "fat cats" of Philadelphia were not.

The next part of the documentary was Barnes' death in 1951. It makes you gasp if you think about what could happen to the Foundation if he didn't adequately prepare for its life after his death. The story kept weaving its way through twist after twist and for somebody who is completely uneducated in art history, each point was more shocking than the one before.

The good news is that Barnes' did adequately prepare the Foundation in the event of his death. He had a legal Will and Testament firmly in place. It was first left to his trusted friend, Violette de Mazia, and she did the best she could. Even in the event of her death, which happened in 1988, Barnes still had the legal ownership of the Foundation intact. The bad news is that greedy, manipulative people in power do not have to follow legal documents. To them the legal system is this little joke which they can just look down on and laugh at as they proceed to do the opposite of what was supposed to happen – legally and morally speaking that is.

"The Art of the Steal" is a great documentary because they even managed to get people like "educator" Richard Glanton, the Governor of Pennsylvania, the Mayor of Philadelpha, and a corrupt judge to speak in front of the camera admitting to what they did, in direct opposition to the law, completely nonchalant to their immoral actions. And the world just has to sit back and watch them commit the greatest crime ever.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (30 total) »

Message Boards

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


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
The Dolls of Lisbon In the Realms of the Unreal Chihuly: River of Glass The Spanish Earth A Jihad for Love
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Documentary section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.