“Moving Pictures – The Barnes Foundation’s New Home” By Peter Schjeldahl
(Questions 1 and 2)
First, let’s take into account the major and minor changes that have been brought forth by the move of the Barnes collection to its new home:
- Minor decorative differences
- Major technological differences in combining natural and automatic lighting
- The repositioning of “The Joy of Life” by Matisse from its original place in the collection to opposite “a great mural of dancing and tumbling nudes that Barnes commissioned from Matisse in 1929”.
Based on these differences let us now look at the effect it has on the original intent of Barnes behind the presentation of the collection:
- Minor decorative difference: non-existent
- Major technological differences in combining natural and automatic lighting: The lighting in the museum changes the artwork slightly in terms of hues and shades of a specific color but allows for better visibility of the artworks.
- The repositioning of “The Joy of Life” by Matisse: Although the repositioning would not have been consented by Barnes, the author notes that the piece seems less “confusing”, more understandable, and its aesthetic geniuses more recognizable and admirable.
It is stated clearly that there have been no major changes to the way the artworks are presented from its earlier home. It is also noted by the author that the integrity of the collection has survived “magnificently”. Now the question is whether it justifies the blatant disregard of Barnes wishes, legally specified in his will, and the move to the Philadelphia Museum?
Is it or is it not an “aesthetic crime”?
“Victory!” by Martin Filler (Question 3) The major preposition presented by the author is the tremendous effort it took to build the building which later house the Barnes collection. The $150 million dollar spendature that the building required and the architectural mounts the building had to surpass can lead us to question the ulterior motive of the move. Although it was political in the sense to make the city of Philadelphia the center of tourist attraction, the money could have been spent to renovate the original location in Merion where the collection was housed. Or, in your opinions, has the collection finally received a deserving location to showcase its simplicity and complexity all in one?