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The Boston Raphael: A Mysterious Painting,…

The Boston Raphael: A Mysterious Painting, an Embattled Museum in an Era…

by Belinda Rathbone

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Belinda Rathbone, daughter of Perry Rathbone who was director of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston from 1955 to 1973, recounts her father's biography, focusing on the "scandal" in 1972. Using some dealings that may not have been completely aboveboard, Rathbone procured a previously unknown portrait, said to have been painted by Raphael. Between the efforts of a self-serving Italian "art sleuth" and an obnoxious board president, Rathbone is forced to retire.

Belinda Rathbone does an excellent of job of fair-handed writing. She obviously admires him, but is willing to admit that he may have made some errors. I came away from the book with strong feelings about all of the characters, and I attribute that to the excellent writing. ( )
  tloeffler | Jan 23, 2015 |
Very interesting and highly readable account of a possibly shady art deal. Extremely even-handed and apparently objective, even though it was written by the daughter of the very charismatic museum director. Well documented, interesting footnotes. I highly recommend this book to anyone with any interest in art, museums, history of Boston, and fathers. ( )
  Amniot | Jan 1, 2015 |
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