Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Barnes students day in court

Monday the hearings resumed after what must have been a very busy time at the Foundation. The testimony on Friday by Ms. Malaro must have made the trustees think about the soundness of their case. Ms. Camp took the stand and with a strong voice and clear presentation tried to present a sound argument that the Barnes was planning to use Ker-Feal and the complete collection to fulfill it's mission. Much of what was said, authoritative in voice, was lacking in detail or substance. A list of possible uses does not make an educational plan that can be reviewed for appropriateness or educational substance. There seems to be no intellectual rigor or direct plan to follow the educational philosophy of Barnes. I don't know from listening in court, how the plan to have more audio tours available will improve the education of art appreciation. If they are just "art history tours" about the individual artists lives, how will that information teach the depth of knowledge Dr. Barnes required?

The court room was treated to a rare view of the real art world when Mr. Feigen took the stand. Without the cover of the "Antique Roadshow" politeness, he told the court that in the commercial art world it would be no problem to find many buyers for the paintings he reviewed. Just as strongly he stated that he was against the move. He had been an adviser to the Barnes and had spoken out against the plan in the 1990's to sell some of the art from the main gallery. Once again the small town mentality of the lawyers had difficulty hearing what this art professional was saying. I felt that his message was that it would be better to save the Barnes as is by selling some very important art that is not in the primary gallery then disemboweling the whole Barnes.


Post a Comment

<< Home