Hello fellow museum lovers! Sad to say that I have not popped to any exciting new exhibitions lately , but I have flipped through some books that are popular amongst us museum folk. Below I chose to spotlight some intriguing history and art books that I’ve read since my last post.
Boom: Mad Money, Mega Dealers, and the Rise of Contemporary Art – Michael-Shnayerson
Boom provides a succinct summarization of the ins and outs of the art world. For me, I needed this read because I felt like a fish out of water navigating the auction world at its epicenter, New York City. It introduces readers to key players, momentous record shattering moments, and delves into crucial shifts in the taste amongst consumers. If you find yourself working for an auction house or museum in New York, I’d recommend you pick up a copy of this book to either refresh yourself or get a crash course in the artists and individuals that are responsible for the financial BOOM in the art market.
Mummified: The Stories Behind Egyptian Mummies in Museums – Angela Stienne
Mummified should be read by all those who have spent some time in an Egyptian artifact gallery. Specifically, it delves into mummies held in in British and French cultural institutions. As someone who recently toured the Egyptian wing at the Louvre, I found these chapters fascinating as they challenged controversial collecting and exhibiting practices. It drives home the point that visitors who view a mummy, are looking at human remains and these objects should be treated with dignity and respect.
The Personal Librarian – Marie Benedict and Victoria Christoper Murray
This historical fiction work recreates the ascendance of Belle da Costa Greene as J.P. Morgan’s personal librarian. She was a female trailblazer who was responsible for collecting, organizing, and procuring unique manuscripts, art, and books for what is known today as the Morgan Library. I was not overly impressed with this piece as I believe the authors took too many liberties in their writing, but it did convince me to take a trip to the Morgan Library. Here, I visited Belle’s office and learned a little bit more about her through the few exhibit labels the Morgan Library had on the display. Hopefully, they will add more in the future!
Let me know in the comments below if you have read any of these selections, or could recommend some more! I’m always adding to my reading list.