Want To See Some Secret Pictures?

Traditionalists spar with a new leadership over how public the fabled Barnes collection should be

IN AN ERA OF BLOCKBUSTER TRAVELING exhibitions, mass-merchandising museum shops and high-profile curatorial politics, the Barnes Foundation, housed in a limestone mansion in suburban Philadelphia, is one of the most striking -- and perplexing -- anomalies of the international art world. It is the repository of a fabled collection of Impressionist and Postimpressionist works (180 Renoirs, 69 Cezannes, 44 Picassos and numerous Seurats, Gauguins and Modiglianis). Yet because of the harshly restrictive policies of its embittered founder-patron, the Barnes has largely withheld its treasures from public view.

( Dr. Albert Barnes, a Philadelphia physician who made millions from an antiseptic he...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!