Athens, Ga. – The Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia will present a film series on “Art and Intrigue” on Thursdays at 7 p.m. between May 23 and June 6. The three films focus on mystery, conspiracy and theft in the art world. All films will screen in the museum’s M. Smith Griffith Auditorium and are free and open to the public.
The series was programmed by Melissa Rackley, associate curator of education at the museum. “This film series is something I have wanted to do since I started working at the museum two years ago,” she said. “And an opening in our schedule finally popped up.”
“The Art of the Steal” will be shown May 23. It is a documentary on the famous Barnes Foundation Collection in Pennsylvania-specifically the collection’s relocation to Philadelphia against the wishes of its founder. The collection of Impressionism works includes 181 paintings by Auguste Renoir, 69 paintings by Paul Cézanne, 59 paintings by Henri Matisse and 46 paintings by Pablo Picasso. Dr. Albert Barnes (1872-1951), who collected the works and created the Barnes Foundation as an educational institution, feuded with the Philadelphia art establishment during his life, and the filmmakers contend that the terms of his gift have been violated by the collection’s move to that city.
The documentary “Stolen” will be screened May 30. It covers the infamous 1990 break-in and theft at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. Thirteen of the most valuable works of art, including Jan Vermeer’s “The Concert,” were stolen in a crime that remains unsolved. The FBI continues to investigate the heist, and the Gardner has offered a reward of up to $5 million for information.
“Exit Through the Gift Shop” will be shown June 6. The film was made by the street artist Banksy. It focuses on Thierry Guetta, a.k.a.”Mr. Brainwash,” a fan of the art form who ends up trying his own hand at it. Questions exist as to whether this film is a documentary or more along the lines of a “mockumentary,” but either way it raises issues about the popularity of guerrilla public art.
Films at the museum are sponsored by the UGA Parents & Families Association.
Partial support for the exhibition and programs at the Georgia Museum of Art is provided by the Georgia Council for the Arts through appropriations of the Georgia General Assembly. The council is a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Individuals, foundations and corporations provide additional museum support through their gifts to the University of Georgia Foundation. The Georgia Museum of Art is located in the Performing and Visual Art Complex on the East Campus of the University of Georgia. The address is 90 Carlton St., University of Georgia, Athens, Ga. 30602-6719. For more information, including hours, see http://www.georgiamuseum.org or call 706/542-GMOA (4662).