programs & events

Read/Eat/Chat Book Club

Read Eat Chat - banner


Our art-themed book club is open to anyone and everyone interested in joining us.  Come to one meeting or attend them all! We read books on art, artists, museums, curators, architects, Newport and more. See below for a full schedule of upcoming books and meetings.

Read/Eat/Chat normally meets the third Thursday of the month, unless otherwise noted. 

 

Read / Eat / Chat

"The Red Man’s Bones: George Catlin” by Benita Eisler

noon     Newport Art Museum (76 Bellevue Avenue)

Join art lovers and avid readers for the monthly meeting of the Museum's book club. Read "The Red Man’s Bones: George Catlin” by Benita Eisler, bring a lunch and discuss!

Members: Free | Non-members: $5

 

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

George Catlin has been called the “first artist of the West,” as none before him lived among and painted the Native American tribes of the Northern Plains. After a false start as a painter of miniatures, Catlin found his calling: to fix the image of a “vanishing race” before their “extermination”?his word?by a government greedy for their lands. In the first six years of the 1830s, he created over six hundred portraits?unforgettable likenesses of individual chiefs, warriors, braves, squaws, and children belonging to more than thirty tribes living along the upper Missouri River.

Political forces thwarted Catlin’s ambition to sell what he called his “Indian Gallery” as a national collection, and in 1840 the artist began three decades of self-imposed exile abroad. For a time, his exhibitions and writings made him the most celebrated American expatriate in London and Paris. He was toasted by Queen Victoria and breakfasted with King Louis-Philippe, who created a special gallery in the Louvre to show his pictures. But when he started to tour “live” troupes of Ojibbewa and Iowa, Catlin and his fortunes declined: He changed from artist to showman, and from advocate to exploiter of his native performers. Tragedy and loss engulfed both.

Read / Eat / Chat

“The Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of E. Curtis” by Timothy Egan

noon     Newport Art Museum (76 Bellevue Avenue)

Join art lovers and avid readers for the monthly meeting of the Museum's book club. Read “The Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of E. Curtis” by Timothy Egan, bring a lunch and discuss!

Members: Free | Non-members: $5

 

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Edward Curtis was charismatic, handsome, a passionate mountaineer, and a famous portrait photographer, the Annie Leibovitz of his time. He moved in rarefied circles, a friend to presidents, vaudeville stars, leading thinkers. But when he was thirty-two years old, in 1900, he gave it all up to pursue his Great Idea: to capture on film the continent’s original inhabitants before the old ways disappeared.

Curtis spent the next three decades documenting the stories and rituals of more than eighty North American tribes. It took tremendous perseverance — ten years alone to persuade the Hopi to allow him to observe their Snake Dance ceremony. And the undertaking changed him profoundly, from detached observer to outraged advocate. Curtis would amass more than 40,000 photographs and 10,000 audio recordings, and he is credited with making the first narrative documentary film. In the process, the charming rogue with the grade school education created the most definitive archive of the American Indian.

Read / Eat / Chat

”Grant Wood: A Life” by R. Tripp Evans

noon     Newport Art Museum (76 Bellevue Avenue)

Join art lovers and avid readers for the monthly meeting of the Museum's book club. Read ”Grant Wood: A Life” by R. Tripp Evans, bring a lunch and discuss!

Members: Free | Non-members: $5

 

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Wood claimed to be “the plainest kind of fellow you can find. There isn’t a single thing I’ve done, or experienced, that’s been even the least bit exciting.” He was one of America’s most famous regionalist painters; to love his work was the equivalent of loving America itself. In his time, he was an “almost mythical figure,” recognized most supremely for his hard-boiled farm scene, American Gothic, a painting that has come to reflect the essence of America’s traditional values-a simple, decent, homespun tribute to our lost agrarian age.  

 

Read / Eat / Chat

“The Devil and Dr. Barnes: Portrait of and American Art Collector” by Howard Greenfeld

noon     Newport Art Museum (76 Bellevue Avenue)

Join art lovers and avid readers for the monthly meeting of the Museum's book club. Read “The Devil and Dr. Barnes: Portrait of and American Art Collector” by Howard Greenfeld, bring a lunch and discuss!

Members: Free | Non-members: $5

 

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Albert Coombs Barnes, one of the most eccentric, controversial figures of the early twentieth-century art world, springs vividly from the pages of  this biography. The Devil and Dr. Barnes traces the near-mythical journey of a man who was born into poverty, amassed a fortune through the promotion of a popular medicine, and acquired the premier private collection of works by such masters as Renoir, Matisse, Cézanne, and Picasso.

Ostentatiously turning his back on the art establishment, Barnes challenged the aesthetic sensibilities of an uninitiated, often resistant and scoffing, American audience. In particular, he championed Matisse, Soutine, and Modigliani when they were obscure or in difficult straits. Analyzing what he saw as the formal relationships underlying all art, linking the old and the new, Barnes applied these principles in a rigorous course of study offered at his Merion foundation.

Barnes's own mordant words, culled from the copious printed record, animate the narrative throughout, as do accounts of his associations with notables of the era--Gertrude and Leo Stein, Bertrand Russell, and John Dewey among them--many of whom he alienated with his appetite for passionate, public feuds. In this rounded portrait, Albert Barnes emerges as a complex, flawed man, who--blessed with an astute eye for greatness--has left us an incomparable treasure, gathered in one place and unforgettable to all who have seen it.

Read / Eat / Chat

“The Art of the Con: The Most Notorious Fakes, Frauds, and Forgeries in the Art World" by Anthony M. Amore

noon     Newport Art Museum (76 Bellevue Avenue)

Join art lovers and avid readers for the monthly meeting of the Museum's book club. Read “The Art of the Con: The Most Notorious Fakes, Frauds, and Forgeries in the Art World" by Anthony M. Amore, bring a lunch and discuss!

Members: Free | Non-members: $5

 

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Art scams are today so numerous that the specter of a lawsuit arising from a mistaken attribution has scared a number of experts away from the business of authentication and forgery, and with good reason. Art scams are increasingly convincing and involve incredible sums of money. The cons perpetrated by unscrupulous art dealers and their accomplices are proportionately elaborate.

Anthony M. Amore's The Art of the Con tells the stories of some of history's most notorious yet untold cons. They involve stolen art hidden for decades; elaborate ruses that involve the Nazis and allegedly plundered art; the theft of a conceptual prototype from a well-known artist by his assistant to be used later to create copies; the use of online and television auction sites to scam buyers out of millions; and other confidence scams incredible not only for their boldness but more so because they actually worked. Using interviews and newly released court documents, The Art of the Con will also take the reader into the investigations that led to the capture of the con men, who oftentimes return back to the world of crime. For some, it's an irresistible urge because their innocent dupes all share something in common: they want to believe.