Described as a not-to-be-missed look at one of the art world’s most fascinating controversies and a celebrated selection of the Toronto, New York and AFI Film Festivals, Don Argott’s gripping documentary THE ART OF THE STEAL chronicles the long and dramatic struggle for control of the Barnes Foundation, a private collection of art valued at more than $25 billion.
In 1922, Dr. Albert C. Barnes formed a remarkable educational institution around his priceless collection of art, located just five miles outside of Philadelphia. Now, more than 50 years after Barnes’ death, a powerful group of moneyed interests have gone to court for control of the art, and intend to bring it to a new museum in Philadelphia. Standing in their way is a group of Barnes’ former students and his will, which contains strict instructions stating the Foundation should always be an educational institution, and that the paintings may never be removed. Will they succeed, or will a man’s will be broken and one of America’s greatest cultural monuments be destroyed?
The film is being screened in preparation for the 2013 Jordan H. and Joan R. Leibman Forum on the Legal and Business Environment of Art. This year's forum will look at Donor Intent vs. Public Interest. The forum will take place on Friday, November 1, 2013 at the IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law, Wynne Courtroom at 6:00 p.m. The film will be screened again at 4:00 p.m. on that day in the same room.