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Rogues’ Gallery: The Rise (and Occasional Fall) of Art Dealers, the Hidden Players in the History of Art
Here for the first time is the history of art dealers, those extraordinary men and woman who, over centuries (and almost entirely out of the public eye), built their profession on a singular skill: identifying the intangible but infinitely desirable qualities that characterize the greatest works of art—and finding clients for whom those qualities are irresistible.
Philip Hook’s riveting narrative takes us from the early days of art dealing in Antwerp, where paintings were sold by weight, to the unassailable hauteur of contemporary galleries in New York, London, Paris, and beyond. Along the way, we meet a surprisingly wide-ranging cast of characters—from tailors, spies, and the occasional anarchist to scholars, aristocrats, and connoisseurs, some compelled by greed, some by their own vision of art—and some by the art of the deal.
Among them are Joseph Duveen, who almost single-handedly brought the Old Masters to America; Paul Durand-Ruel, the Impressionists’ champion; Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, high priest of Cubism; Leo Castelli, dealer-midwife to Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art; and Peter Wilson, the charismatic Sotheby’s chairman who made a theater of the auction room.
Rogues’ Gallery bursts with unforgettable anecdotes and astute judgments about art and artists, honed by Hook’s more than forty years in the art market—making it essential reading for anyone interested in the hidden history of art.
A riveting historical art mystery for fans of Chasing Vermeer and The Westing Game, set in the Roaring Twenties!
It's 1929, and twelve-year-old Martha has no choice but to work as a maid in the New York City mansion of the wealthy Sewell family. But, despite the Gatsby-like parties and trimmings of success, she suspects something might be deeply wrong in the household—specifically with Rose Sewell, the formerly vivacious lady of the house who now refuses to leave her room. The other servants say Rose is crazy, but scrappy, strong-willed Martha thinks there’s more to the story—and that the paintings in the Sewell’s gallery contain a hidden message detailing the truth. But in a house filled with secrets, nothing is quite what it seems, and no one is who they say. Can Martha follow the clues, decipher the code, and solve the mystery of what’s really going on with Rose Sewell?
Inspired by true events described in a fascinating author’s note, The Gallery is a 1920s caper told with humor and spunk that readers today will love.