Saturday, September 25, 2004

Barnes solution

I found this link which supports my feelings, limited as they may be, about the Barnes issue. I like this quote from the essay: " The purpose of the Barnes Foundation was to disseminate Barnes' philosophy. As he stated this, "…art is no trivial matter, no device for the entertainment of dilettantes, or upholstery for the houses of the wealthy, but a source of insight into the world, for which there is and can be no substitute, and in which all persons who have the necessary insight share."".

The Pragmatic Eye and Inquiry into Educational Complexity, by Spencer J. Maxcy, Louisiana State University

It seems to me that the trustees plan would do nothing but allow the casual observer to view the art at the art museum planned.

Here are my concerns.
Is the Barnes- Dewey philosophy still relevant in our time?
Is the Barnes Foundation doing everything that it can to promote the ideas of Dr. Barnes?
Is it the role of the foundation to teach children the philosophy of Barnes- Dewey or is it the concept that Barnes wanted to educate teachers as a whole on how to teach art and develop curriculum to coincide with the Dewey methods of teaching?
Has anyone questioned the Foundation about whether they are following the concepts of Barnes?

I believe in finding win win solutions to conflicts. Given the fact of the school as its reason d'être, it would be possible for the Foundation to create a separate non profit museum for the purpose of exhibiting and collecting art that Dr. Barnes would have been interested in. Without removing the "Gallery" art from Merion, the rest of the collection could be used for a Parkway museum. The money raised at this separate museum controlled by the Barnes Foundation could be used for charitable purposes fully under the tax laws. The Museum of Modern art would be a great asset to Philadelphia. Money raised could be used to improve the collection to accession works that parallel those in the Barnes collection.

I doubt that this common sense solution would find much support with those who want to move the art but I bet the Public would find it wonderful.


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