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Duveen Hardcover – Import, 1952

4.6 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 302 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; 1ST edition (1952)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1127556525
  • ISBN-13: 978-1127556526
  • ASIN: B0000CI9RZ
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.3 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,515,016 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
While this book is enormously entertaining, it's value is limited as a serious work of history. The reality is; Lord Duveen, grandson of a blacksmith from Delft, who went on to be an English Baron, was much more of a hustler than this 1950's era fantasy makes him out to be. For a more modern take on Lord Duveen try: Artful Partners: Bernard Berenson and Joseph Duveen by Colin Simpson.
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Format: Paperback
Excellent biography of a forgotten man and his times - a man that changed the way Americans collected European art. Funny, witty and appallingly honest. A must read for anyone serious about art buying.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Sir Joseph Duveen, the focus of this book, should be deified by virtually every major art museum in the United States. By means fair or foul he looted homes and places of some of the greatest works of art and shuffled them across the sea to more appreciative owners....who could also appreciate that one must pay a great lot of money just for the privilege of paying a great lot of money. In his mind, as author S.N.Behrman tells us, the actualy painter was a back bencher for once the painting was his it was a "Duveen". Many of his clients had little or no taste save for immortality and Sir Joseph was able to persuade them to the view that the acquiring and then giving away of great art was a certainty to get this amorphous "immortality" they sought. Nor did he stop at art, he felt it unkind to his painting to send them off to hang in questionable spaces and so had staff members who would redecorate rooms, sometimes homes, to more appropriate house his wares. And, of course, during this process of renovation he sold them the ojects, the bits and pieces that added to the rooms. And, of course, this were bits and pieces priced accordingly to the masterwork for which they would serve as backdrop.

Sir Joseph was a gentleman of impecable taste who had to acquire that ability over the years. The scourge of art historians, he was quick to assign a painter to a painting he liked if it raised the sale price and without there being too much reason to believe the painter ever saw that with which he was now credited. No task was too great or too grand; He conceived the National Gallery in Washington before there even existed a collection to house but, of course, he was able to find donors to whom he could sell the paintings that they would donate. Sort of an artistic corn/hog cycle.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a necessity if you are interested in the history of American art.
Presents heartbreaking insight into Berenson's mind.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
One of the greatest characters of art conservation of the modern world, and wholly unknown. The book is only mediocre...but its subjrct is extraordinary. The famous wealth and names xxx ofvthe art benefactors of this country, mellon, frick, ford, carnagie owe the entire process to one, elegant, superior man, Duveen, the master of the preservation of taste and culture for 20th century art.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This amusing read, describes Duveen's single-handed effort in creating America's most serious art collectors. Laying-out the process of cultivating a deep desire for the very best in fine art from Europe in America's richest, most insecure industrial giants. Duveen's plan unfolds; culminating in fantastically expensive, name-brand, catalogs and the pinnacle of his career, an art Museum in Washington, in which his clients, the industrial giants of the early 1900's, would achieve victory in their quest for immortality. All art sales associates and those considering art buying should read this book first.
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By A Customer on December 25, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is one of the most fabulous books that you will ever read. At about 100 pages it is a fast read. Too fast. Duveen is the most amazing art dealer that the world will ever see and Behrman tells the life story of this undeniably interesting man with quick wit.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While this book may not seem very interesting it was difficult to put down. The story of Duveen and his ability to amass great collections of art is fascinating; as is his ability to sell to some of the most powerful men that were instrumnetal in building the US economy. A diverse number of friends have read this everyone; has enjoyed it. Watch for his selling techniques - quite impressive!
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