Art: Doors Ajar

"No psychologist will deny," Millionaire Albert Coombs Barnes of Merion, Pa. once wrote in a momentary surge of mellowness, "that to enjoy most deeply the things we like, we must share them with others.'' Before he was killed in an automobile wreck in 1951, Barnes was already a legend for practicing exactly the opposite of what he preached. He owned a $100 million art collection, one of the finest in the world—and only a comparative handful of people ever got to see it.

Soutines at $50. Barnes was a strange and brilliant man who rose...

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