The Devil and Dr. Barnes

Howard Greenfeld, Author Viking Books $19.95 (306p) ISBN 978-0-670-80650-8
Multimillionaire art collector Albert Barnes (1872-1951) wrote obscene letters to his enemies; he lashed art critics and dealers, and he insisted that he got rich through the discovery of a medicated silver solution that he, in fact, had merely promoted. The irascible chemist-turned-connoisseur championed the Harlem Renaissance, yet he was often patronizing in his treatment of blacks. He housed his art collection in a Philadelphia suburb to educate the masses, but his foundation's rigid admissions policy has severely limited the public's access to the galleries. Author of bios of Caruso and Puccini, Greenfeld offers an entertaining, balanced profile of the self-made nabob whose art collection includes works by Renoir, Matisse, Picasso, Cezanne, Demuth, Glackens, Titian and Rubens. He concludes with a plea to the Barnes Foundation to liberalize its restrictive policies. First serial to Philadelphia magazine. (November 4)
Reviewed on: 11/02/1987
Release date: 11/01/1987
Paperback - 314 pages - 978-0-940159-92-1
Paperback - 144 pages - 978-0-14-011735-6
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