Under the auspices of The American Movie Company, I spent two days in Philadelphia on a gig to remember. I love my job! I was hired as the Teleprompter Operator for a client doing a documentary about The Barnes Foundation.
I went there a day earlier and spent it leisurely visiting this incredible space and was awed by the number of works on display. I have never seen so many paintings by a particular artist in one place! Renoir, Picasso, Cézanne, Soutine, van Gogh among others.
My actual job, this time, also involved the Battery-powered Teleprompter, given that we were mostly outside.
The talent became quite adept at reading text from the Teleprompter. We had the time necessary to practice and go over some helpful tips to make the entire process pleasant and professional.
Bear with me, I was so impressed with this exhibit that I learned about Albert C. Barnes, the man himself. He was a physician, a chemist, and a very successful businessman. He and a partner developed Argyrol, a compound used in the prevention of infant blindness. He became very interested in art, had the means to acquire it, and the rest, as they say, is history!
The Barnes Foundation houses by far the most impressive collection of impressionist, post impressionist and early modern paintings in the world.Mr. Barnes himself was a rather odd duck. He spent years and years obsessing about how to display his eclectic collection. He built a mansion for that sole purpose and opened it in 1925. He stipulated that after his death, it must remain as it was. Due to poor attendance and other problems with zoning restrictions etc. – plans were made to relocate. And that brings us to its present location on 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Although there were those totally against the move – they’ve come around and love the space. It is comfortable, user-friendly and apparently the lighting is amazing and makes the collection much easier to be seen and appreciated. The Barnes Foundation is posed to be an influential museum, if you will, and to actually impact the way we look and think about art.
Mr. Barnes’ taste in art extends to other items he collected: Decorative and industrial items from different cultures and eras, American paintings, Native American ceramics, African art, jewelry, textiles, ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman art, etc., etc. Another striking aspect is the way he arranged and rearranged his collections. The wall compositions are organized according to his perception of the aesthetic connections between the works. Light, color, line and space are more important than style or genre. In any given room he demonstrates this by the eclectic nature of the paintings and objects on the wall.
Sorry, I seem to have lectured rather than simply tell you about the Teleprompter job. We used both the regular Teleprompter and the battery-powered device when outside, and later when conducting the interviews inside, we brought out the Interrotron which made all the difference.
The client was happy and impressed by my expertise and my proficiency with the equipment. I always feel a little strange tooting my own horn… but there you have it.
It was a privilege to work with the American Movie Company at The Barnes in Philadelphia!