Barnes, up close.
In his trust, he established a foundation for educational purposes. He wanted his collection to be accessible to the general public (not just the elite), and the works to be exhibited as he originally intended. His intention is quite unique among the standard presentation of an art gallery--a typical ensemble might include an El Greco painting sandwiched between a Van Gogh and a Cezanne, all hanging above a Pennsylvania-crafted wooden chest topped with carvings from the Dogon people of Mali.
In addition to maintaining the integrity of layout, Barnes also insisted the collection was not to be moved from its location in Merion. For multiple reasons, some of which served conflicting interests, the Barnes collection was moved from the suburbs to the city in May 2012, and now sits nearby the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Renoir Museum. A few of us had a chance to check out the exhibit yesterday, and it really is quite spectacular. The collection itself is incredible, and the story behind the controversy makes it even more fascinating. You can read more about what many people call the greatest art heist in modern history here, or check out "The Art of the Steal."