Kindle Price: $12.99

Save $6.01 (32%)

These promotions will be applied to this item:

Some promotions may be combined; others are not eligible to be combined with other offers. For details, please see the Terms & Conditions associated with these promotions.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Rogues' Gallery: The Secret Story of the Lust, Lies, Greed, and Betrayals That Made the Metropolitan Museum of Art by [Gross, Michael]
Kindle App Ad

Rogues' Gallery: The Secret Story of the Lust, Lies, Greed, and Betrayals That Made the Metropolitan Museum of Art Kindle Edition

3.7 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

See all 6 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
$12.99

Limted-time offer: $1 for 2 months
The Wall Street Journal Digital Membership. Coverage you can get behind. Learn more
click to open popover

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

For more than a century, the coupling of art with commerce has made New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art the world's most glamorous whore, according to this sprawling history. Gross, a veteran chronicler of the rich and beautiful (Model: The Ugly Business of Beautiful Women), highlights the relationship between the directors and curators who amassed the Met's collection—fakes and questionably acquired antiquities included, he notes—and its patrons. In his telling, the exchange of money for prestige (contributor John D. Rockefeller wanted good publicity after striking workers were massacred at the family's Ludlow mine) is a tawdry business, with the museum's high-toned seduction of well-heeled egotists, who in turn felt betrayed when newer collections impinged on their own galleries. Not the best-curated of exhibitions, Gross's thematically unfocused chronicle is overstuffed with the details of fund drives, building plans and bequests; some figures feel like they were profiled mainly because there were juicy anecdotes about them—a rarity in tight-lipped Met circles—not because their doings are especially illuminating. Still, browse long enough and you'll find behind-the-scenes dirt and an intriguing look at the symbiosis of culture and cash. (May 12)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

Praise for 740 Park
“Tantalizing, intimate, engrossing, intriguing. A deeply researched book that deserves a prominent place among the social histories of 20th-century Manhattan.” —Washington Post

“One building as [a] microcosm of life on a silver platter. The voyeurism is so giddy that 740 Park sometimes feels like an extended feat of free-association. . . . Outside the work of Edith Wharton or Jane Austen, it’s rare to find such brazen speculation about exactly what people are worth. Changing demographic and economic realities have made 740 Park a mirror of its times.” —Janet Maslin, New York Times

“[A] great read . . . gossipy . . . revealing.” —People

“This is social history at its finest.” —Dominick Dunne

“740 Park is the home of some of the world’s wealthiest people. Gross takes readers inside its doorman-protected walls, exposing the shocking and sometimes tragic secrets the building has been guarding for nearly a century.” —Star

“It took a reporter and storyteller like Michael Gross to lay out the epic tale—truly, the story of American capitalism and 20th-century New York society—that is 740 Park Ave. . . . This is the kind of heady terrain Gross knows well.” —Hartford Courant

Product Details

  • File Size: 4467 KB
  • Print Length: 578 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books (April 25, 2009)
  • Publication Date: May 5, 2009
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001NLKYBA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #398,624 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images or tell us about a lower price?

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By S. McGee TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Any wealthy, social-climbing, self-important, status-seeking individual even sensing that Michael Gross is taking an interest in their doings would be well advised to donate every penny of their riches to charity and flee to South Dakota, pronto. At least, that's my advice after reading Rogues' Gallery, a peek behind the scenes at the shenanigans of the donors, trustees, curators and directors at the Metropolitan Museum of Art over the nearly 140-year life of that institution. Indeed, given all the dysfunction that Gross chronicles, I'm amazed that the museum manages to open its doors at all, much less function more or less smoothly as a superb collection of the world's greatest art.

This is an intriguing book to appear at what may be a major turning point in the Met's history. Some of today's mega-collectors (hedge fund tycoon Steve Cohen, retailer Eli Broad and casino king Steve Wynn)have shown little interest in getting involved with the Met; others have favored their regional museums or contemporary art collections. Meanwhile, its core function -- offering visitors a collection of the 'best of the best' -- is challenged by what former director Philippe de Montebello has referred to dispargingly as ultra-nationalists bent on destroying the universal cultural mission of the great museums. (Translated: countries like Greece and Turkey would like their pilfered art back, please.) It's not surprising that Gross didn't win the cooperation of Met authorities for his work on this book, and almost certainly it's being scoured (as I type) by various attorneys for people who would love to sue Gross for libel. (They probably won't succeed; his most outrageous insights into the characters of folks like Oscar and Annette de la Renta seem to be well-documented.
Read more ›
3 Comments 99 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a fascinating glimpse into an amazing museum and into a life that most of us would have no chance to ever be a part of. What strikes me most is not the incredible amount of money and privilege but the owning of paintings that I know and have seen at The Met- the stories behind many of them having once been hung in someone's apartment. It's just hard to take in. The fact that someone needs generations of connections to be part of this world. The politicking makes politics look like nothing.

The details and stories are so rich. I can't imagine how long it took to research this book. Having just finished reading it last night I am dying to take a trip to NYC now.

Now, the Kindle version is very disappointing. There are countless typos and information left out. A painting sold for "%&@"... what does that mean?? How much did it sell for? Or someone is worth "si^*%^^" million dollars. Huh? Or a name will appear as characters I can't even find here on my keyboard. Or the new wing cost "-*^^" million dollars. It was incredibly frustrating.
Comment 21 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
This is an extraordinary book from an extraordinary writer. I grew up ten blocks from the Met and spent my childhood being dragged there against my will, but I was still in awe of the building, the collection, and the many countries and cultures I was exposed to through art.

The solid exterior of Hunt's main building gives the appearance of order, quiet, perfection and harmony, yet inside there is a fascinating world of great egos, money, power, and hundreds of ghosts, not all of them nice ones.

Gross takes us through the ages, from the post civil war moguls who founded the museum, to the new tycoons of the present age. It is a vast tale, but one which Gross weaves with his usual clipped style, throwing in colorful tidbits along the way.

This is a scholarly book which does not read like one. That is its greatest asset. I now know a great deal about this mysterious institution, and I'm happy to have learned so much in so short a time, and in such a pleasant way.

Charles Avery Fisher
New York, NY
2 Comments 29 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Does this book deliver the goods? Alas not. Let's face it, a biography of the Met could be, would be one of the most exciting biographies of an institution. However, in the hands of Michael Gross, the book reads like a series of gossip columns strung together. Some of the stories should be as exciting as anything...how Dietrich Bothmer was able to secure a priceless collection of Greek vases from the Hearst Corporation or how the Museum out-negotiated the Smithsonian in obtaining the ancient Dendur Temple from Egypt - while the 6 day war between Egypt and Israel was raging.

But what the book lacks is excitement for the art...why certain pieces meant "everything" to certain curators or industrialists. In so many instances, Michael Gross overlooks the critical issue - how owning and exhibiting certain masterpieces of mankind's most exhilarating artistic creations moves the soul, forces us to rethink the very meaning of human existence and importance. As an example, the book says almost nothing about the 'Unicorn in the Garden' tapestries in the Cloisters (The Medieval Branch of the Met in upper Manhattan), We get just a few words how John Rockefeller bought them for about a million dollars and then a sentence or two that suggests they were casually donated to the Museum. These are the same tapestries that are unmatched anywhere in the world but for Paris in the Cluny Museum - the "Lady and the Unicorn" set. People will travel from all corners of the globe to the Cloisters to get a glimpse of these, to be awed by these, to try to comprehend the symbolism of these. But that story seems unimportant to the author of this book.

I much preferred Thomas Hoving's "Making the Mummies Dance." Sure, this ex-Director of the Met is a controversial figure.
Read more ›
3 Comments 24 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Rogues' Gallery: The Secret Story of the Lust, Lies, Greed, and Betrayals That Made the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: Rogues' Gallery: The Secret Story of the Lust, Lies, Greed, and Betrayals That Made the Metropolitan Museum of Art