Albert Barnes and Paul Guillaume
By Robert Zeller
June 03, 2014
|Albert Barnes by Giorgio de Chirico|
My colleague Richard Carreño [at BroadStreetReview.com] compares the Barnes Foundation’s art collection, of which some 800 pieces were hung on permanent display in Merion, to that of Paul Guillaume in the Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris. There are some important differences, however.
Giorgio de Chirico's portrait of Barnes.
Guillaume’s collection, as Richard points out, consists of 145 works. Barnes owned some 350 works by Cézanne, Renoir, Matisse, and Picasso alone. In addition to the works in the galleries, he had ten times as many in other repositories, notably his estate at Ker-Feal. These included works by Corot, Courbet, Millet, and De Chirico, the latter a portrait of Barnes himself. He wasn’t just hiding them; they simply didn’t fit in with the conception he had for the galleries. In the case of De Chirico, Barnes may simply not have wished to call undue attention to himself in what was designed as a pedagogical setting. Guillaume’s portrait of himself by Modigliani does hang in l’Orangerie. De gustibus.