US premiere: April 21, 2016

twitter iconTweet this: “Renoir—Revered and Reviled,” a new feature film based on the Barnes’s unrivaled Renoir collection, will be in US theaters on April 21!

Philadelphia, PA, March 31, 2016—The Barnes Foundation announces Renoir—Revered and Reviled, a new feature film based on the Barnes’s unrivaled Renoir collection.

The 87-minute film offers a global audience the opportunity to virtually visit the Barnes and experience these works on the big screen. Directed by Phil Grabsky of Seventh Art Productions for the third season of EXHIBITION ON SCREEN, it presents a fresh look at one of the best-known artists of the 19th–20th centuries and explores why Renoir has polarized opinion for over 100 years. Renoir’s late period began in the early 1890s, when his art practice shifted away from the impressionist approach that had earned him widespread critical acclaim. This film uncovers the rarely told story of his last decades, when he produced dreamy, sensual paintings that drew the admiration of artists like Picasso and Matisse, but also the scorn of many critics.

Renoir—Revered and Reviled dives into the long-standing debate over the merit of the artist’s late works. Was Renoir a self-indulgent fantasist? Or was Matisse right to declare his voluptuous female figures “the loveliest nudes ever painted”? Viewers can decide for themselves, guided by a host of esteemed art experts and an up-close view of the works in question. The film features interviews with leading art critics from the New York Times and Washington Post, internationally renowned scholars, and several artists.

“The Barnes Foundation is home to the single largest collection of Renoirs in the world,” said Martha Lucy, Barnes Deputy Director for Education & Public Programs and author of Renoir at the Barnes Foundation. “Over the course of his life, Dr. Albert C. Barnes amassed 181 works by the artist; he considered him the greatest of modern painters, right alongside Cézanne. Not everyone agrees, of course. This film offers audiences all over the world the chance to form their own opinions on Renoir while exploring Barnes’s astonishing collection.”

Barnes intended for the Foundation to give access to poor and disenfranchised people, namely workers, African Americans, and young artists. His educational method was based on allowing people to experience works of art and promoting a close, objective observation of the use of light, line, color, and space. Barnes believed that students would learn not just about art, but about critical thinking and analysis, which could apply to broader kinds of learning and success. This film furthers Barnes’s mission, encouraging audiences to experience and learn from art, regardless of their background, by bringing Renoir out of the gallery and into the cinema.

Director Phil Grabsky and his company, Seventh Art Productions, have made hundreds of films for the BBC, Channel 4, and ITV, as well as a dozen films for the cinema.

Renoir—Revered and Reviled is being distributed in North America by SpectiCast.

Fathom Events, in partnership with SpectiCast, presents this special event for one night in select US cinemas on Thursday, April 21. For locations and show times visit:

EXHIBITION ON SCREEN is the originator of exhibition films for the cinema. The series was launched in 2011 in response to the increasing demand for high quality, in-depth arts programming. By the end of this year, EXHIBITION ON SCREEN films will have been screened in 40 countries worldwide and seen by more than 640,000 people.

The Barnes Foundation ( was established by Albert C. Barnes in 1922 to "promote the advancement of education and the appreciation of the fine arts and horticulture." The Barnes holds one of the world's finest collections of impressionist, post-impressionist, and early modern paintings, with extensive works by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Henri Rousseau, Amedeo Modigliani, Chaim Soutine, and Giorgio de Chirico; works by American masters Charles Demuth, William Glackens, Horace Pippin, and Maurice Prendergast; old master paintings; important examples of African sculpture; Native American ceramics, jewelry, and textiles; decorative arts and ironwork; and antiquities from the Mediterranean region and Asia. While most collections are grouped by chronology, style, or genre, art at the Barnes is arranged in ensembles structured according to light, line, color, and space—principles that Dr. Barnes called "the universal language of art." The Foundation's programs include First Fridays, young professionals nights, tours, tastings, and family programs, as well as Barnes–de Mazia Education Program courses and workshops. These programs advance the Foundation's mission through progressive, experimental, and interdisciplinary teaching and learning. The Barnes Foundation is open Wednesday–Monday and tickets can be purchased on site, online, or by calling 215.278.7200. Ticket prices and current hours are listed on our website.

The Barnes Arboretum in Merion contains more than 2,500 varieties of trees and woody plants, many of them rare. Founded in the 1880s by Joseph Lapsley Wilson and expanded under the direction of Laura Leggett Barnes, the living collections include 40 state champion trees, a Chinese fringe tree (Chionanthus retusus), a dove tree (Davidia involucrata), a monkey-puzzle tree (Araucaria araucana), and a coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens). Other important plant collections include lilacs, peonies, stewartias, ferns, medicinal plants, hostas, and magnolias. The Horticulture Education program has offered a comprehensive three-year certificate course in the botanical sciences, horticulture, garden aesthetics, and design since its establishment in 1940 by Mrs. Barnes. The arboretum also offers horticulture workshops and lectures, and is open to the public Friday–Sunday from May through November. Tickets can be purchased on site, online, or by calling 215.278.7200. Ticket prices and current hours are listed on our website.


Deirdre Maher, Director of Communications
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