Suggested Reading List
The MFA Handbook
Author: Gilian Shallcross
Description: As Hippocrates said, "Art is long and life is short." Through an inexhaustible variety of media, in forms as diverse and surprising as history itself, artists and craftspeople have always expressed the common needs and yearnings of humankind. From ancient works in wood, clay and precious metals to Modern painting, metalwork, sculpture and video, the varied collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, provide an unrivaled telling of the story of art. This new, fully updated and redesigned edition of the definitive guide to the MFA's most enduring masterpieces provides a window on works that have surprised, delighted and inspired visitors since the museum opened in 1876. Featuring more than 500 objects, from Native American ceramics to European shoes, Egyptian funerary arts and Warhol silk screens, The MFA Handbook reproduces these works in vibrant color, accompanied by brief, incisive commentaries.
The Gardner Heist: The True Story of the World's Largest Unsolved Art Theft
Author: Ulrich Boser
Description: Shortly after midnight on March 18, 1990, two men broke into the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston and committed the largest art heist in history. They stole a dozen masterpieces, including one Vermeer, three Rembrandts, and five Degas. But after thousands of leads—and a $5 million reward—none of the paintings have been recovered. Worth as much as $500 million, the missing masterpieces have become one of the nation's most extraordinary unsolved mysteries.
After the death of famed art detective Harold Smith, reporter Ulrich Boser decided to take up the case. Exploring Smith's unfinished leads, Boser travels deep into the art underworld and comes across a remarkable cast of characters, including a brilliant rock 'n' roll thief, a gangster who professes his innocence in rhyming verse, and the enigmatic late Boston heiress Isabella Stewart Gardner herself. Boser becomes increasingly obsessed with the case and eventually uncovers startling new evidence about the identities of the thieves. A tale of art and greed, of obsession and loss, The Gardner Heist is as compelling as the stolen masterpieces themselves.
Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera
Author: Ron Schick
Description: Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera is the first book to explore the meticulously composed and richly detailed photographs that Norman Rockwell used to create his famous artworks. Working alongside skilled photographers, Rockwell acted as director, carefully orchestrating models, selecting props, and choosing locations for the photographs--works of art in their own right--that served as the basis of his iconic images. Readers will be surprised to find that many of his most memorable characters-the girl at the mirror, the young couple on prom night, the family on vacation-were friends and neighbors who served as his amateur models. In this groundbreaking book, author and historian Ron Schick delves into the archive of nearly 20,000 photographs housed at the Norman Rockwell Museum. Featuring reproductions of Rockwell's black-and-white photographs and related full-color artworks, along with an incisive narrative and quotes from Rockwell models and family members, this book will intrigue anyone interested in photography, art, and Americana.