September 27, 1988 |
Last Tuesday afternoon about 2:30, the failing heart of Violette de Mazia, 89, finally stopped, setting into motion a series of events that will have a profound impact on the future of one of the world's greatest art collections, the Barnes Foundation's. To her students at the foundation's school, to visitors to the gallery and to the curious public, de Mazia was long emblematic of the fascinating, perplexing and controversial Barnes Foundation and its fabulous collection. Now, trustees and others associated with the foundation are faced with what one trustee calls "the most important event that has happened to the foundation since Albert Barnes died" 37 years ago and left behind a code of restrictions binding what some authorities have termed the most comprehensive assemblage of impresssionist art in the world.
May 26, 1989 |
Twenty-two American paintings from the collection of the late Violette de Mazia, who taught art appreciation at the Barnes Foundation in Merion for 60 years, sold for $2.38 million yesterday at Christie's auction house in New York. That amount, added to the $5 million paid earlier this month for eight impressionist and modern works and $644,000 paid in April for de Mazia's furniture and furnishings, brought the proceeds from de Mazia's estate to more than $8 million. Still to be sold are a half-dozen paintings and de Mazia's house in Lower Merion.
October 17, 2003 |
One of the great love affairs of art history is that between Henri Matisse and Sister Jacques-Marie, a Dominican nun, consummated in the creation of the Rosary Chapel in Vence, the medieval village perched on a hilltop near Nice. A Model for Matisse, Barbara Freed's interview film with the 83-year-old sister, is as light-filled as the tiny chapel, a jewel box of the spirit both spectral and prismatic. The title alludes both to Sister Jacques-Marie's initial service for Matisse as his night nurse and artist's model and also her later role, when she joined her order, as his spiritual guide and goad.
September 27, 1992 |
For most of this century, painting has been dominated and defined by the accomplishments of Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse, so much so that it's difficult to think of one without thinking of the other. Each has been enormously influential, even to this day, and each has been touted by devoted partisans as the greatest artist of modern times. As painters and as individuals, they were polar opposites. Picasso was a mercurial bohemian whose tempestuous art corresponds closely to his public persona.
November 2, 1986 |
It's impossible to know exactly when, in his own mind, Henri Matisse settled permanently in Nice. On the basis of available evidence, the most probable date is September 1921, when he rented an apartment near the beach with a spectacular view of the bay. Matisse, living then in a Paris suburb, had been coming to Nice for prolonged periods of painting since the winter of 1917, but he always had stayed in hotels. Noting this, some observers of his career have presumed that his sojourns on the Cote d'Azur were little more than extended vacations.
March 2, 1995
The foresight of teachers, the generosity of two local foundations, the flexibility of the Philadelphia Museum of Art staff and the draw of stunning paintings and sculpture have combined to make Mondays at the museum a happily crowded time. Anticipating great interest in the world-famous exhibit From Cezanne to Matisse: Great French Paintings from the Barnes Foundation, the museum began booking class visits on Mondays long before the Cezannes and Matisses hit town in January. Teachers with foresight (and resources)
March 30, 2011 |
Golden-hued foliage has darkened to an earthy tan. A sunny yellow field has faded to off-white. In spots, the paint is powdery and has started to flake off. Vivid colors are deteriorating in Henri Matisse's iconic The Joy of Life , owned by the Barnes Foundation, and scientists are stepping in to help before the giant canvas is moved to its new home in Philadelphia. Conservators presented the results Tuesday from a sophisticated chemical analysis of the painting, which will guide the effort to retard further damage and perhaps, someday, to reverse it. The research, presented at a conference of the American Chemical Society in California, was led by Jennifer Mass, a senior scientist at the Winterthur museum in Delaware who was enlisted by the Barnes.
March 29, 2011 |
Golden-hued foliage has darkened to an earthy tan. A sunny yellow field has faded to off-white. In spots, the paint is powdery and has started to flake off. Vivid colors are deteriorating in Henri Matisse's iconic Joy of Life, owned by the Barnes Foundation, and scientists are stepping in to help before the giant canvas is moved to its new home in Philadelphia. Conservators presented the results Tuesday from a sophisticated chemical analysis of the painting, which will guide the effort to retard further damage and perhaps, someday, to reverse it. The research, presented at a conference of the American Chemical Society in California, was led by Jennifer Mass, a senior scientist at the Winterthur museum in Delaware who was enlisted by the Barnes.
March 23, 1995 |
What started as an idyllic family outing at the zoo turned into a frightful experience for artist Francoise Gilot. As she tells the tale, her father had thought it would be cute to put the then-5-year-old girl inside the monkey cage with one of the animals. Terror pierced her, she says, as adults outside the cage laughed at her horror. But then came a transformation. A chimpanzee offered her his wrinkled hand and walked her around his home, calming her in the process. The tables turned, and Gilot and the ape stared at the people outside.
December 11, 2003 |
A work by Henri Matisse, a ceramic vase by Jean Renoir, a mahogany Steinway piano, and a cache of what was described as "Negro spiritual sheet music" and 78-r.p.m. recordings are among "hundreds of things" missing from the Barnes Foundation, executive director Kimberly Camp said yesterday. It was unclear how the pieces disappeared, whether they were stolen, or when they might have been taken from the foundation. While testifying Tuesday in the Montgomery County Orphans' Court hearing on the Barnes' proposal to move its gallery from Lower Merion to Philadelphia, Camp had mentioned that some items were missing from the foundation.