• Rogues' Gallery

  • The Rise (And Occasional Fall) of Art Dealers, the Hidden Players in the History of Art
  • By: Philip Hook
  • Narrated by: Nigel Patterson
  • Length: 10 hrs and 8 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (42 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Here for the first time is the history of art dealers, those extraordinary men and women 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; Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, high priest of Cubism; 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 40 years in the art market - making it essential listening for anyone interested in the hidden history of art.

©2017 Philip Hook (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"A lively exploration of the history of art and the tastemakers and dealers whose influence in shaping it is often overlooked." ( Kirkus)

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Superb art history you never learned in college!

Wonderful narration and a very funny lively book filled with the people of their time and how they created art as s thriving business.

4 people found this helpful

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Interesting listen!

Book overall was interesting, got more so as it discussed more recent history. The narrator was fine until he could not properly pronounce the “Gogh” in Van Gogh. He sounded like he had something stuck in his throat. Irritated me every time I heard it, I made it too the end of the book.

2 people found this helpful

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WELL DONE IF NARROW

Not much new research here, but author Philip Hook's lively prose style and deep knowledge of the art industry make this book successful. Narrator Nigel Patterson should not have attempted American accents. Everyone from Bernard Berenson to Albert Barnes sounds like an unlettered Texas oilman. Excruciating.

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