Rogues’ Gallery by Philip Hook
The Rise (and Occasional Fall) of Art Dealers, the Hidden Players in the History of Art

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...Hook may come off as biased because of his position at Sotheby’s—he openly admits a refusal to discuss big name contemporary dealers due to possible conflicts of interest—as well as his devotion of an entire chapter to former Sotheby’s chairman...A lively exploration of the history of art...
-Kirkus

Synopsis

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.
 

About Philip Hook

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Philip Hook is a director and senior paintings specialist at Sotheby's. He has worked in the art world for thirty-five years during which time he has also been a director of Christie's and an international art dealer. He is the author of five novels and two works of art history, including The Ultimate Trophy, a history of the Impressionist Painting. Hook has appeared regularly on television, from 1978-2003 on the BBC's Antiques Roadshow.
 
Published October 31, 2017 by The Experiment. 288 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, History, Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Arts & Photography, Education & Reference. Non-fiction
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Kirkus

Above average
on Aug 21 2017

...Hook may come off as biased because of his position at Sotheby’s—he openly admits a refusal to discuss big name contemporary dealers due to possible conflicts of interest—as well as his devotion of an entire chapter to former Sotheby’s chairman...A lively exploration of the history of art...

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