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The Art of the Steal was the most engaging documentary I’ve seen in a long time. It’s about the Barnes Foundation, which houses the most priceless art collection in the United States. When Dr. Albert Barnes died, he left specific instructions in his will for how the art should be displayed and protected, but many people and organizations had other ideas for his collection.
Like any good documentary, this film had me angry and up in arms by the end. As a warning: it’s definitely a slanted telling of the story, but it’s a slant I happen to agree with. With its simple premise, this film explores complex themes of the meaning of art, how art should be displayed, principles of private ownership, and moral obligations as a society. It’s definitely worth a rent. I dare you to not feel passionately about the Barnes Foundation by the end of it.