Art bibliophile tells all!!


[Ed. Whenever I stop by for a chat and to look at what’s on the walls at LaPelle Gallery, owner Rodger LaPelle has a new book to tell me about. The books are always about art and usually I haven’t heard of any of them. But Rodger makes them seem fascinating. Anyway, Libby and I asked him to put together his reading list so we could share it with you. Below is Rodger’s annotated book list for your reading pleasure.

The books seem like a great bunch of gift books. By the way, some of the links are to and other online book sellers — but not all. Some are informational links. You can purchase each book online, in some cases used or discounted.]


Post by Rodger LaPelle

These are my recommendations for readers interested in the world of art.warholpolsky

1. “I Bought Andy Warhol” by Richard Polsky. An insider’s revelations of the behind-the-scenes of the Andy Warhol phenomenon . Deals, prices, characters. I shook hands with Andy when he had his first museum show at the ICA. Later I bought and sold just one soup can print in the 70’s. Polsky also does a column on auctions for Artnet.


2. “A hero of Our Time” the Story of Varian Fry. by Sheila Isenberg. In 1940 a Young Varian Fry goes to Marseille, France, and helps 1,500 intellectuals escape from the Nazis, including Max Ernst, Jaques Lipshutz and Marc Chagall. A story of a life-and-death adventure. I remember following the course of the entire World War II by reading the Inquirer but mostly Life Magazine at a young age.

3. “Faustian Bargain” by Jonathan Petropolos. Who made out well in the art field in 1932 to 1945… in Germany. Artists, dealers, curators etc. flourished because Hitler intensely loved art (of a kind) and sponsored it to the hilt. I think Hitler’s main ambition was to build the largest art museum in the world in his home town of Lintz, Austria and he was going to fill it with great art by hook or crook.

4. “An Artful Life” by Pierre Assouline. The seventy-two-year career run of art dealer Henry Daniel Kahnweiler. How he started and lost his gallery twice and came back in Paris is especially interesting to those in the trade. He was Picasso’s dealer, and I found that art dealing is such an absorbing process that it is very hard to give up. Kahneweiler was in it till he dropped at 96 years of age.


5. “Portrait of Dr. Gachet: the Story of a Van Gogh Masterpiece” by Cynthia Saltzman. One picture can be worth ten million words… some of which are in this book. Basically about the 17 owners of the highest-priced and highest-sold painting in the history of art. The first purchaser was a woman art student from Denmark.