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The Met’s Moneyed past

By Jessica Schneider Jun 1, 2009, 14:21 GMT

The Met’s Moneyed past

“Behind almost every painting is a fortune and behind that a sin or a crime.” With these words as a starting point, Michael Gross, leading chronicler of the American rich, begins the first independent, unauthorized look at the saga of the nation’s greatest museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In this endlessly entertaining follow-up to his bestselling social history 740 Park, Gross pulls back the shades of secrecy that have ...more

This new book, titled “Rogues' Gallery: The Secret History of the Moguls and the Money that Made the Metropolitan Museum” by Michael Gross, delves into the history of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

USA Today notes: “But as journalist Michael Gross shows in his history of the gentlemen and geniuses, barbarians and social-climbers who have run the Met since it was founded in 1870, proximity to the glorious art of humanity doesn't necessarily improve the humans who document, collect and display it.”

The reviewer also calls the book “a slog,” yet also adds: “Gross demonstrates he knows his stuff. It's a terrific tale, with all the elements of a gossipy, color-rich, fact-packed Vanity Fair-style takedown. But it reads like an academic treatise prepared for museum dweebs. Which is regrettable, because what Gross reveals is stuff that more people should know.”

More reviews and blurbs can be found on Amazon. Curious readers should visit the USA Today article for more info.


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