September 14, 2007
Maybrook as park Re: "Main Line's fabled castle up in the air," Sept. 9: Maybrook is magical. In the '90s, before security guards and gates blocked our access, my sons and I would ride bikes or hike in the "secret passageways" of this beautiful estate. We would explore the overgrown gardens, look into the stagnant pools of the broken fountains, and search the grounds for the pet cemetery rumored to be hidden somewhere in the woods. We were certain we could hear laughter, tinkling champagne glasses, and strains of music coming from the ballroom, where the windows were just slightly too high for us to peer into.
September 10, 2007 |
The long journey of the Barnes Foundation from suburban Merion to downtown Philadelphia, which began six years ago with a financial crisis and a protracted legal battle, reached another milestone yesterday when the board announced that architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien will design a new home on the Parkway for the renowned collection of Impressionist art. In choosing the New York-based husband-and-wife team, the Barnes has found architects especially...
August 22, 2007 |
Montgomery County leaders have had a falling out with the lawyer they had hired to file a lawsuit aimed at keeping the Barnes Foundation art museum from moving to Philadelphia. Thomas Ellis, chairman of the county commissioners, said the dispute with attorney Mark Schwartz would not deter the county from going to court to block the move, which was approved by a judge in 2004. But the conflict follows a decade-long pattern of sound and fury involving almost any issue pertaining to the billion-dollar collection of Impressionist art that collector Albert Barnes willed should remain exactly as it was upon his death in 1951.
July 23, 2007 |
YOGI BERRA once said, "It ain't over till it's over. " So it is with the legal wrangling over the Barnes Foundation, the internationally famous art collection housed in Merion that's slated to be moved to the Parkway in Philadelphia. As we should all know by now, Albert Barnes was the eccentric millionaire who mixed the paintings of Renoir, Matisse, Cezanne, Picasso and others with odd iron hardware and other artifacts from around the world in his own peculiar theory of art education.
July 20, 2007
In the latest effort to keep the Barnes Foundation in Lower Merion, township officials have passed a zoning ordinance that would more than double the number of visitors permitted each year. The ordinance approved Wednesday allows up to 140,000 visitors per year and takes the place of a previous rule that allowed the Barnes to be open to the public three days a week and restricted to about 400 visitors a day, for about 62,000 visitors per year. The gallery, which holds one of the nation's most celebrated collections of Impressionist art, is planning a move to the Parkway in Philadelphia.
July 9, 2007 |
Seven years of bitter battles came to an end in 2003 when a Montgomery County judge permitted the Barnes Foundation, holder of one the world's greatest private art collections, to move from its Main Line hideaway to a prominent place on the Parkway in Philadelphia. Some in the international art community decried the move as a bad bargain, a way to boost the Barnes financially at the cost of ruining its oddly charming galleries, in which Impressionist masterpieces are stacked as tight as puzzle pieces on the walls of a Merion mansion.
July 6, 2007 |
Philadelphia reacted with shock and outrage in November when word leaked out that just one famous painting - Thomas Eakins' The Gross Clinic - was going to be sold to out-of-towners. It therefore ought to understand the pain that Montgomery County feels at the prospect of losing the Barnes Foundation, with its hundreds of Impressionist masterpieces valued in the billions of dollars. So say the Montgomery County commissioners. So says Lower Merion Township. So says a suburban congressman, Republican Rep. Jim Gerlach.
May 25, 2007 |
The Fairmount Park Commission in a special meeting last night approved a proposed lease that would allow the Barnes Foundation's museum and school to move to Philadelphia. Now it will be up to the City Council to approve the lease which Joseph Grace, Mayor Street's spokesman, said the administration hopes will happens before the Council ends its session next month. For a payment of $10, the foundation, now based in Merion, would get a 99-year lease on the site of Youth Study Center on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
March 2, 2007 |
Montgomery County will join Lower Merion Township and residents in their efforts to block the Barnes Foundation's move to Philadelphia. County commissioners yesterday voted unanimously to seek outside legal help to explore what options remain to keep the Barnes in Merion. "I just want to see if there are legal avenues open to us that have not been used previously," Commissioner Thomas Jay Ellis said. In addition, the commissioners asked their lobbyists to try to stall the release of more than $100 million authorized by the state in 2002 for the move to Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
February 8, 2007 |
In a quiet, passionate - but probably futile - campaign, neighbors of the Barnes Foundation soldier on in their battle to keep the world-famous art collection in Merion. "The political system is skewed toward this thing going to Philadelphia, with no actual basis for it, other than hope and prayer," said Walter Herman, who lives across Latches Lane from the museum grounds. As Herman; his wife, Nancy, and their Friends of the Barnes organization, with a mailing list of more than 1,000 members, cast about for a strategy to block the move, the foundation is on course to open a new museum five miles away on the Ben Franklin Parkway in late 2009 or early 2010.