Breakfast at Sotheby's : an A-Z of the art world

by Philip Hook

Paper Book, 2013





London ; New York : Particular Books, 2013.


When you stand in front of a work of art in a museum or exhibition, the first two questions you normally ask yourself are 1) Do I like it? And 2) Who's it by? When you stand in front of a work of art in an auction room you ask these two questions followed by others: how much is it worth? how much will it be worth in five or ten years' time?

User reviews

LibraryThing member jon1lambert
Philip Hook's Breakfast at Sotheby's is a quick and enjoyable read. 'Perhaps most of us are train-spotters at heart' (page 182) wasn't a sentence I would expect to read within it. But there it is in the section explaining why some art collectors buy railway paintings. Hook even suggests that railways changed the way people painted, for instance a quick day return may have encouraged a speedy Impressionist approach. I now know that anger doesn't sell as well as angst. Smiles are popular but if there is no smile existentialist turmoil may do. Suicide lifts prices, for example. I wasn't aware of the suggestion that Van Gogh was shot by a man out shooting rabbits and did not kill himself. The rabbit ending would have seriously diminished the value of Van Gogh's paintings as well as his fame and reputation.… (more)
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