Art: Opening The Barnes Door

Amid lawsuits and controversy, one of the world's great semi-unknown collections begins a tour at last

Where, until last month, was the world's finest semi-unknown collection of early modern art?

At the Barnes Foundation in Merion, Pennsylvania.

Where is the pick of it now?

At the National Gallery of Art in Washington.

How much of it has gone there?

Eighty-two paintings by Renoir, Cezanne, Seurat, Van Gogh, Soutine and Matisse, among others.

And why are they all there?

Because either a) a new administration at the foundation has decided to bring the Barnes into an era of public accessibility, thus promoting knowledge and beauty, or b) the same administration has condemned these valuable and fragile paintings, against...

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