January 12, 2014
The $12 Million Stuffed Shark
Author: Don Thompson
Don Thompson explores the money, lust, and self-aggrandizement of the art world in an attempt to determine what makes a particular work valuable while others are ignored. This book is the first to look at the economics and the marketing strategies that enable the modern art market to generate such astronomical prices. Discussion guide available here.
February 9, 2014
Des Moines Art Center Collects (2013)
Under the guidance of Art Center Director Jeff Fleming, and with major support from the Gardner and Florence Call Cowles Foundation and Henry Luce Foundation, a new permanent collections book, “Des Moines Art Center Collects,” has just been published. This 498-page book contains more than 300 selected works from the Art Center’s permanent collections,
and builds significantly upon the last catalog, published in 1998.
March 9, 2014
My Love Affair with Modern Art (2006)
Author: Katharine Kuh
One of America’s leading curators takes you on a personal tour of the world of modern art. In the Depression-era climate of the 1930s, Katharine Kuh defied the odds and opened a gallery in Chicago, where she exhibited such relatively unknown artists as Fernand Léger, Paul Klee, Joan Miró, Ansel Adams, Marc Chagall, and Alexander Calder. Her extraordinary story reveals how and why America became a major force in the world of contemporary art.
April 13, 2013
The Devil and Dr. Barnes:
Portrait of an American Art Collector (2006)
Author: Howard Greenfeld
A biography of Albert Barnes, who used his self-made fortune to snub the American museum and gallery community from the turn of the century until his death in 1951. His quest for supremacy in the art world led to the creation of one of America's premier private collections. Greenfeld chronicles Barnes's eccentric behavior, unusual educational philosophy, and friendships with such notables as Gertrude and Leo Stein, John Dewey, and Henri Matisse.