Fall has finally arrived! Since I live (happily) in a museum bubble, fall means school visits, studio art classes and new exhibitions. For me, it’s all about art right now, thus my book selections for the month:
Through African Eyes: The European in African Art, 1500 to Present, by Nii O. Quarcoopome. After opening at Detroit Institute of Arts, this exhibition just arrived at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. I got a quick peek at the copy that made its way around the Education Department but I definitely want to add it to my exhibition catalog collection.
Strapless, by Deborah Davis. I love discovering the history of famous paintings and the tale behind John Singer Sargent‘s Madame X is salacious! Originally painted with a strap of Madame Pierre Gautreau’s dress dangling seductively from one shoulder (as depicted in this photo) Sargent altered the portrait after the scandalous uproar both the pose and suggestive dress caused. Considering that Mme. Gautreau was the Parisian “It Girl” of her time, I am curious to see how Sargent and “Madame X” met at the intersection of art and infamy.
The $12 Million Stuffed Shark, by Don Thompson. I’m excited to dig into this economist’s examination of the conditions that contribute to the recent skyrocketing prices in the contemporary art market. It promises an in-depth look into the shadowy world of artists, dealerships, auction houses and buyers that fuel the machine.
Priceless: How I Went Undercover to Rescue the World’s Stolen Treasures, by Robert K. Wittman with John Shiffman. Going undercover to bring art scammers and swindlers to justice sounds like fiction, but Wittman is the founder of the FBI’s Art Crime Team which has recovered over $142 million in stolen objects. After you swipe a Vermeer, where can you possibly unload it? I’m definitely interested in learning more about the shadowy stolen art underworld.