Tyler Green
Art-focused Journalism by Tyler Green

Tyler Green Modern Art Notes

Stories of the year: The Barnes Matisse

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The move of the Barnes’ Matisse Dance mural was one of the strangest art stories of 2012: The Barnes Foundation moved a mural Matisse made specifically for where it was sited in Merion, put it in its odd new tourists-oriented site in downtown Philadelphia — and seems to have hoped no one would notice or ask questions about its decision. When the questions came, the Barnes then refused to answer them. The result: An incomprehensible mistake (followed by dumb PR). Sadly, none of this was a surprise: The ‘new’ Barnes is about tourism, not art.

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  1. chuck says:

    So lets follow your logic. Had the original building caught on fire and the mural could be removed to save it, you would say let it burn because it is site specific and the rebuilt building would be different than the original?

    I think not. You would find some self serving excuse why it would be ok to save it.

    I visited the new Barnes (and had visited the old). It works just fine for me. BTW it was great having it downtown near everything. The concept that the old Barnes was a work of art is a just a bunch of bunk. Had Barnes wanted his own Taj Mahal, he should have funded it better. (A lesson for Mr. Broad and others? A lesson for the public – don’t give tax breaks for billionaires to build their pride palaces and who then do not adequately fund them.)

    For those of you so offended by the move – don’t visit, don’t go. You won’t be missed.

  2. Tyler Green says:

    The Barnes did not move because it was insolvent or in financial distress. It was neither.

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