Freudian Slips: Barnes and Noble Wishes

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Location: Irony, New Jersey, United States

Life takes us many places. It's a box of chocolates and a Hansel and Gretal trail of candy wrappers. I have filmed as an actor in The Happening, Invincible, The Lovely Bones, The Bounty Hunter, The Greek American, Bazookas, Limitless, TV's Its Always Sunny in Philly, Outlaw, New York, The Warrior, The Nail, Game Change, Cold Case, & commercial work includes The Philadelphia Eagles, Septa, Coors, Turbo Tax & Carnival Cruises. Freudian Slips spotlights irony in short story format.

February 24, 2005

Barnes and Noble Wishes

Last Saturday, my wife and I took our four children to The Barnes Foundation, the current home to one of the finest collections of French, Early Modern and Post-Impressionist paintings in the world. The Barnes Foundation is tucked away off of Route 1 in Merion, Pennsylvania. For five bucks you can oggle over six billion dollars worth of art. It is neither a museum or gallery but rather the extensive private collection of the late Albert Barnes hanging in his residence. If you are starving for art, this collection of art can stop a hunger strike. Dozens of Matisse, Renoir, Seurat, Manet, Soutine, Degas, Monet, El Greco, Picasso, Van Gogh bring the house to life in living color.
I taught the children almost everything I knew about art before the tickets were perforated at the front door. Nonetheless, seeing their faces study fine art was worth being perceived by your offspring as an unequivocal art dummy.
As I kneeled in awe inches away from Egyptian heirglyphics circa 2000 BC, my youngest daughter whispered, “Daddy, why does everyone paint fruit?”
“Hum, I have often wondered that myself.” I answered without explanation.
Like an echo to my art ignorance, I wondered the same thing from the time I was my daughter’s age until she asked me the identical question some thirty two years later. I imagine fruit is a symbol of class and a scene of stasis most people can identify with. That is all I can extract from the rooty-tooty-fruity cross-generational question. So from that awkward moment on, I shadowed a bald geezer who professed to his daughter an intimacy with every last piece on display. This guy knew the emotion, history, and psychology of each art piece. Ah, what I would give to be so cultured. As I followed the geezer around, a Mona Lisa smirk appeared on my face because I wisely saved the $7.00 for the audio cassette tour. I extracted wonders about art other than my basic assumption that Crayola crayons are not a good medium for art.
Albert Barnes last noble wishes were for his paintings to never be moved and for the entire collection to remain intact in the thirteen acre home where he resided. Enough debate to spark a Senate hearing, plans have been finalized to move the entire collection closer to downtown Philadelphia. If Albert C. Barnes has a ghost, we will surely find out with the scheduled trespassing.
In the meantime, checkout art untouched and unhaunted before lawmakers and private interest groups commercialize it into a monolithic museum with a juice bar, children’s birthday parties, and Henry Matisse’s Joy of Life appearing on pre-snot napkins. Come and enjoy the art in its natural undiscriminating state without burly armed guards, bullet-proof Plexiglass, and twenty foot safe distance chalk lines. See the Barnes Foundation before it truly becomes a moving experience. Visit:



Anonymous Anonymous said...

You visited an art show without me? Oh, the ache of it all! You can guess the author of this comment.

10:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yo Joe!

You reminded me of one of your visits to DC. We went to some art museum there because you had to do something for a college course you were taking. This was something on the far end of the spectrum of what we usually did when you, drink and go to 14th St! I wasn't happy we had to do this, but I tagged along anyway. I must have been impressed, because I still remember...especially the 4 huge paintings that depicted the journey of life, from birth to death. I couldn't tell you who did them...I'm sure you can...but they impressed me just the same.


11:08 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Dear Mystery Art Escort,
My life has weaved through many a person. I cannot guess with confidence who you might be. Through the recesses of my mind, however, I can narrow the search to one of five people with no disrespect intended.

6:32 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Dear Mike,
The Voyage of Man series was done by Thomas Cole and remains my favorite art paintng(s) of all time. The meaning I have drawn from those paintings is more applicable to me now then when we first saw them. I am glad the Voyage of Man has withstood the voyage in our memories. Thanks for being on board.

6:36 PM  

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