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Rogues' Gallery: A History of Art and…

Rogues' Gallery: A History of Art and its Dealers

by Philip Hook

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201725,196 (4.5)4



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**I received an advanced readers copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**

Readers who wish to know more about the world of art dealing may want to pick up this title. Hook examines the world of art dealing over the last few centuries, highlighting key art dealers and their partnerships with the biggest named artists of their time. Hook examines how art dealers themselves did or did not influence artists’ works, as well as the influence art dealers had with clients and art appreciation as a whole.

This is not a narrative nonfiction but ideal for those interested in the art world. I learned much about the intricacies involved between artist, art dealer and/or auctioneer and art patron/art buyer. Some of the dealers highlighted led colorful lives; it was their deep appreciation in art, or in a few cases the almighty dollar, that led new art movements to become popular among buyers and collectors. I appreciated the research Hook did in order to create a very comprehensive look at western world art buying, with chapters featuring the United States, European countries and England.

This is a perfect book for anyone studying art history or who may even have an interest in working in a gallery, museum or even becoming an art dealer. Recommended. ( )
  librarybelle | Oct 29, 2017 |
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Philip Hook takes the lid off the world of art dealing to reveal the brilliance, cunning, greed and daring of its practitioners. In a richly anecdotal narrative he describes the rise and occasional fall of the extraordinary men and women who over the centuries have made it their business to sell art to kings, merchants, nobles, entrepreneurs and museums. From its beginnings in Antwerp, where paintings were sometimes sold by weight, to the rich hauteur of the contemporary gallery in London, Paris and New York, art dealing has been about identifying what is intangible but infinitely desirable, and then finding clients for whom it is irresistible. Those who have purveyed art for a living range from tailors, spies and the occasional anarchist to scholars, aristocrats, merchants and connoisseurs, each variously motivated by greed, belief in their own vision of art and its history, or simply the will to win. The cast of characters includes Paul Durand-Ruel, the Impressionists' champion; Herwath Walden, who first brought Modernism into the limelight; 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 the auction room theatre. Philip Hook's history is one of human folly, greed and duplicity, interspersed with ingenuity, inspiration and acts of heroism.… (more)

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