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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 or dealer’s gallery, 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? And what wiWhen 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 or dealer’s gallery, 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? And what will people think of me if they see it hanging on my wall? Breakfast at Sotheby’s is an alphabetical guide to how people reach answers to such questions, and how in the process art is given a financial value. Based on Philip Hook’s thirty-five years’ experience of the art market, Breakfast at Sotheby’s explores the artist and his hinterland (including definitions for -isms, middle-brow artists, Gericault, and suicides), subject and style (from abstract art and banality through surrealism and war), “wall-power,” provenance, and market weather. Comic, revealing, piquant, splendid, and occasionally absurd, Breakfast at Sotheby’s is a book of pleasure and intelligent observation, as engaged with art as it is with the world that surrounds it....

Title : Breakfast at Sotheby's: An A-Z of the Art World
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781468309669
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 368 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Breakfast at Sotheby's: An A-Z of the Art World Reviews

  • Andrew Schirmer
    2018-12-10 08:38

    Delicious look at the art world through expensively and impeccably framed glasses. The stacking of commissions as paintings make their way, La Ronde-like through the portfolios of dealers world-wide. The shockingly middlebrow minutiae that guarantees a bonanza at auction. In spite of all he has encountered Hook is never boring nor cynical. Best line: Ringing up Sotheby's: "May I have John Brown, please?" "I don't see why not, everyone else already has." Tee-hee.

  • Rebecca
    2018-11-18 04:35

    Interesting nuggets of information are a bit lost in the gimmicky dictionary layout - sadly rather a case of concept drowning content! And this is such a shame, as the broad questions laid out in the introduction - what makes art attractive? followed by, what's it worth and what gives it value? - are so interesting. Part of this issue, though, might be caused by me not being the intended audience, i.e. an interested art layman/woman… There are definitely still interesting points and amusing anecdotes that make the dodgy layout worth coping with!One other thing that annoyed me was the almost complete ignoring of non-Western art & art markets. I understand that Hook himself deals with European art, but “An A-Z of the Art World” shouldn’t really ignore large swathes of said world. The only real time the non-Western art world is mentioned (repeatedly) is in relation to the Japanese art buying boom of the late 1980s. Again, I understand that this is something Hook had personal knowledge of, because apparently they went mad for Impressionists, but it can’t be the only example he can think to use! There are some really glaring omissions, for example when talking about different countries’ heritage laws, he only discusses those of America and various European countries - when Japan has some of the strictest heritage laws around and would make an interesting comparison. It’s almost as if he’s suggesting “who would want to buy art from there?”…

  • shpotakovskaya
    2018-12-04 07:47

    It. took. me. two. years. to. finish. this. book 🤦🏻‍♀️

  • Olga Zbranek Biernátová
    2018-11-16 10:45

    Snídaně u Sothebyho je další z publikací o umění, které v rámci edice TEMA představuje nakladatelství Kniha Zlín. Nemusíte mít ale strach, že by tato kniha drnkala na stejnou strunu jako Žralok a Supermodelka od Dona Thompsona (i když k tomu anotace trochu svádí). Philip Hook je mnohem méně bulvární a navíc se zaměřuje na prodej umění z konce 19. a začátku 20. století. Impresionismus, kubismus, abstrakce, surrealismus… Čtěte celou recenzi: http://bit.ly/recenze-snidane-u-sothe...

  • Shennety
    2018-11-20 03:44

    «Чашка чая с Мона Лизой» Хотели ли когда-нибудь хоть одним глазком заглянуть на кузню аукционов и понять природу торгов мировыми шедеврами изобразительного искусства? Так сложилось, что на протяжении вот уже года меня не покидает тревожная мысль и обеспокоенность собственной безграмотностью в вопросе искусства, ибо после прочтения романа Иллиеса «1913» я остро ощутила, насколько я профан в этой области. Дальше банальных представлений о том, кто написал «Мона Лизу» и чье творение стало брендовым образом женских духов, мои познания не продвигаются. Я, конечно, значительно утрирую, - масштабы бедствия, к счастью, не настолько велики - однако особо похвастаться мне нечем. Это несомненно вынуждает меня судорожно хвататься даже за самые малые крохи информации, дабы заполнить пробелы. Я стала, как прилежная ученица, конспектировать данные о разных художниках, скрупулезно вникать в направления искусства, даже пыталась постигнуть разницу между Моне и Мане, но до сих пор не сильно-то могу с уверенностью сказать, кисти кого из них принадлежит то или иное полотно. Это я все к чему? В тот день, когда мне в руки, по чистой случайности, как это обычно бывает, попала книга Хука, я не задумываясь бросилась ее покупать и тут же приступила к внимательному изучению. Забегая наперед могу сказать, что ни на секунду не пожалела о своей спонтанной покупке - книга действительно оказалась хороша, даже обидно, что авторы литературных колонок и буктьюберское сообщество незаслуженно не уделили ей внимания! Что мне несомненно понравилось, так это простота и доступность изложенных мыслей, что-то вроде упрощенной теории искусствоведения для начинающих, но при этом читатель абсолютно не ощущает себя слабоумным, для которого всю информацию тщательно пережевывают и на блюдечке с золотой каемочкой подают сию неприглядную кашицу с табличкой «съешь меня». К тому же Хук вовсе не похож на современных писателей, кто ради рейтинга продаж «плетет интриги» вокруг того или иного предмета живописи, высасывая из пальца какие-то мистификации и конспирологические теории заговора.В своей книге «Завтрак у Sothby’s» Хук объясняет на примере собственного опыта, почему одни картины пользуются небывалым спросом у покупателей, чем объясняется такой ажиотаж вокруг произведений одного художника и какова причина того, что люди вообще решаются «спускать» такие баснословные деньги на то, что порой на первый взгляд простого обывателя может показаться лишь неумелой мазней. Вполне закономерным является негодование простых людей, кто далек от мира искусства, по поводу того, что стоимость за одну картину может достигать суммы, эквивалентной стоимости более важных вещей, таких как строительство больницы или создание фонда помощи больным детям. От чего же зажиточные люди предпочитают вкладывать инвестиции в то, чему суждено лишь украсить интерьер их новой гостиной? Для пущего сравнения стоит отметить, что цена подобной детали интерьера порой может превышать стоимость даже самого особняка! Конечно, подобных «эстетов» не так уж много, но количество продаваемых картин с каждым годом, как и их стоимость, непомерно растет. Не стоит переживать, что понимание некоторых картин бывает не простой задачей, с которой сложно справиться без дополнительных подсказок знатоков. Проработав значительное время сначала в «Кристи», а потом в «Сотби», Хук честно признается, что у профессиональных арт-критиков тоже случаются оплошности. Так довольно распространенной ошибкой является неправильное обозначение картин, когда вместо названия, как предполагалось изначально, на обороте холста может указываться банальное распоряжение, где следует разместить картину. Например, «Церемония посвящения» оказалась ни чем иным, как пометкой прежнего владельца повесить ее «справа от коридора» («Right of Passage»). Поэтому в следующий раз, посещая какую-нибудь выставку современного искусства, будьте осторожны, возможно сюжет произведения слабо соответствует ее названию не от того, что Вы неспособны этого увидеть, а по той причине, что кто-то недобросовестно занес картину в каталог.Так же в «Завтраке» рассматривается извечные вопрос:надо ли быть безумным для создания предмета искусства или же умственное помешательство - это последствие гениальности. Насколько успешным может быть сумасшедший художник и как это отражается на стоимости предмета творчества. Помимо всего выше упомянутого, весьма интересным стал для меня список самых дорогих и известных картинных краж. Несмотря на то, что продать ворованную работу это далеко непростая задача, ведь о ней тут же становится известно не только аукционным домам и маклерам, но и весь мир, затаив дыхание, пристально следит за процессом расследования, и воришкам с трудом удасться отыскать коллекционера, кто согласился бы на подобную авантюру,находятся все же и те, кого подобные трудности не пугают. Впрочем, если вспомнить, какая стоимость этих шедевров, безрассудство преступников не кажется таким уж необоснованным. А еще в этой книге Вы сможете узнать, что на сегодняшний день способно заставить состоятельных людей раскошелиться больше, чем на приобретение работы Мунка «Крик».Подводя итог хотелось бы добавить, что, пускай «Завтрак у Sothby’s» не относится ни к разряду научных книг, ни художественных, данная работа будет увлекательной как для опытного знатока искусства, так и для читателей, желающих повысить свой уровень общих знаний. Скучать с этой книгой Вам точно не придется!

  • Sophie
    2018-11-21 03:43

    I came across this title thanks to a weekend literary supplement, an end-of-year piece where everyone cited their best reads of 2013. I think the title misled me, though. Philip Hook has worked in the art world for 35 years and is a director of Sotheby’s so I was expecting more of a memoir, dishing some dirt on life in an auction house.In fact, the book is a miscellany of art-related fact and anecdote, grouped loosely by theme – artists, subject matter, provenance, the art market. It is still packed with interesting nuggets but the structure is chaotic and switches rapidly from one topic to the next, so that just as your interest is piqued he moves you on again.I loved the fact that there are lots of illustrations, so reading this book is a much more visual experience than usual. However, I think exploring fewer topics (especially the autobiographical material) in more depth would have made it a superlative read.For the full version of this review, please check out my blog:http://asianartbrief.com/2014/03/28/b...

  • Zlatka Nguyen thi
    2018-11-23 10:46

    Umělecké klepy na zlepšení dne."Philip Ernst jednou namaloval svou zahradu, ale z kompozičních důvodů vynechal jeden strom. Protože byl ovšem natolik v zajetí ,, pravdy obsažené v přírodě", přepadly ho po dokončení obrazu takové výčitky svědomí, že vyšel ven a strom porazil."Chudáci ti prerafaelité.

  • carelessdestiny
    2018-12-10 03:51

    This is very entertaining. It's worth reading for the story about the "extremely camp" man at the switchboard at Christies alone.

  • Shane
    2018-11-30 05:39

    I'm a bit intrigued by the art trade, so I thought this seemed like an interesting read, and for the most part, it was.Hook overall has a pretty good tone, humorous but informative, and he even pokes fun at some of the more unusual aspects of art dealing (including, very candidly, mentioning how certain artists should have died sooner). The format--dividing the book into categories and then presenting the information based upon alphabetical terms--didn't quite work for me. I appreciate he was trying to do something unique, but it was harder to follow than a more traditional format.There are some really interesting parts; my favorites include about different countries' export and taxation rules, stolen or lost art affecting price, the "new rich" in new areas pushing the price of certain genres (like Middle East oil tycoons buying 19th century Europeans depictions of the Middle East, or Japanese liking Impressionism). He didn't mention much about some aspects that I was expecting more, such as the value of having the art been owned by a famous patron.I also thought there was waaaay to much about modern art, which I understand is what is selling the highest right now so that's what Hook is most concerned with, but he still could have evened it out more (like what about vedutes and capriccios from 17th-19th centuries?). I suppose I should just be glad that if I ever get rich that everyone else is wasting all their money on bad art when the good older stuff is cheaper.

  • Lisa Rector
    2018-11-24 05:52

    "When you stand in front of a work of art in a museum or exhibition, the first two questions you ask yourself are normally 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 or dealer's gallery, you also ask...how much is it worth? How much will it be worth in five or ten years' time? And, what will people think of me if they see it hanging on my wall?"I rediscovered this book when browsing the shelves, and decided to reread it. It was just as entertaining, and informative as the first time. It covers a vast array of subjects from Bohemianism to Football (and the Glossary is hilarious).

  • Tolkien InMySleep
    2018-12-11 07:33

    Informed and informative, witty

  • Sandra Danby
    2018-11-19 10:35

    Philip Hook is an art dealer. He has spent 35 years in the art market, first at Christies then at Sotheby’s, so he knows his stuff. As soon as I heard about this book I put it on my ‘to-read’ list. It’s about the art business, about what sells and why, and what doesn’t and why. It is a fascinating insight into the world of art, written in an entertaining, informative style that is never too dry. Hook mixes in art trivia and some of his own mishaps with an authoritative account of art and money.Does an artist’s back story have any effect on the price his work fetches? Why do some artists not make the big prices until they are dead? Are the portrayals of artists in literature accurate, or stereotyped? What difference does it make if the subject of a portrait is smiling, or solemn?For me it was interesting on two counts. First, because my protagonist in Connectedness is an artist; so Hook is writing about Justine’s world. Second, because of the many parallels between the creative twins of art and writing. There are sections on artists who write, creativity block, and artists as characters in novels such as Claude Lantier, the hero of Emile Zola’s The Masterpiece, and Ralph Barnby in Anthony Powell’s A Dance to the Music of Time.The quote that stayed with me after finishing the book is one by Edgar Degas on creativity block: “It seems to me,” he wrote aged 22, “that if one wants to be a serious artist today and create an original little niche for oneself, or at least ensure that one preserves the highest degree of innocent of character, one must constantly immerse oneself in solitude. There is too much tittle-tattle. It is as if paintings were made, like speculations on the stock markets, out of the friction among people eager for gain. All this trading sharpens your mind and falsifies your judgement.”

  • Jenn
    2018-11-25 07:39

    I'm fascinated and horrified by the Art World in equal measure, and this was delightful. Funny, interesting, informative, enjoyable and full of witty little anecdotes that occasionally had me covering my face in horror ("what do you MEAN you stripped that Degas out of the frame he originally created for it and put it in a giant lacquered one to ramp the price up?!") It also introduced me to some artists and artworks I didn't know - most of which I had up google, because a) there could be more pictures and b) I know it would make the book heavier and more expensive, but the black and white photos printed straight into the book aren't really worth it, since you can't see half of them properly. Minor gripes, though - this was a delight to read, nice to dip in and out of, and I've learned lots of things I now cannot use.

  • Linh Le
    2018-12-05 04:46

    I was reluctant to pickup this book at the beginning, as I had already had a list of to-read books whenever I visited a bookstore. In the end, i decided to give it a try. And this book is perhaps one of my favourite art related publications so far. The book examines every aspect and every corner of the art world. Through Phillip Hook's point of view, a man who has devoted nearly his entire life to the arts, I am so enlightened and it feels just great to learn things from a wise person's past experience. Not only the immense amount of insightful information (which, i believe, his most precious asset after years working for Christie's and Sotheby's), his dry sense of humour really amazes me (Well, maybe people of this scene are all witty). This could be the most interesting and sagacious dictionary I have ever owned (beware, Oxford!)

  • Sarah Anne
    2018-11-26 10:56

    Ever stared at a painting and thought, ‘Great.What does it mean?.’ I highly recommend this little book by Philip Hook. Hook, a specialist at Sotherby’s auction house has written the perfect art guide. Written in easy language and structured as an A-Z, this is a great book for beginners looking to understand the art world. Hook covers everything from Impressionism, art theft, bohemianism to Picasso.

  • Nana
    2018-12-08 08:00

    Succinct, entertaining read about this particular art dealer's experiences with art and the art world. About half of it is about art, artists, and art history, and the other half is about the art market and the the authors' experiences working in the dealing world. Plenty of amusing tidbits and clever analyses to be found, so a fun little read if you love art or are interested in the business. One does sometimes wish the author would spend more time on some of the more interesting sections (none are more than a few pages long), and he makes a few mildly sexist off the cuff remarks, hence the loss of one star. Would recommend to people interested in art books.

  • bea
    2018-12-04 05:44

    Smart, enjoyable romp through the contemporary art market. The section on "Subject and Style" reminded me of Komar and Melamid's "Painting by Numbers," and maybe K&M could do a new poll including "railways," "dead game," and "factory chimneys" (all subjects Hook discusses in terms of how they impact the monetary value of a painting). The scanty scattering of poor black-and-white reproductions add little to the text, so you'll want your internet nearby to check out the work of "Middlebrow Artists" and the examples of "Branding." Hook also includes some serious food for thought, such as quotes from Delacroix and Keith Vaughan on the subject of "finishing" a picture.

  • Quiver
    2018-11-17 03:47

    An unusual take on introducing art to the educated & interested public. Organised in four sections according to topics, where each section contains a number of entries in dictionary order according to their titles. It can as much be dipped into, as read from start to finish. Occasionally an entry would consist of a number of paragraphs, where each paragraph describes an artist or movement or term – a dictionary within a dictionary. These entries are only useful as reference points.Contains a few of funny anecdotes from the author's long career as director of Christies and Sotheby's. The writing is easy to parse, most not patronising, and occasionally cynical.

  • KC
    2018-12-01 09:31

    I am not sure why this book has such high reviews. I am guessing that most people do not have much insight into the art world and are therefore fascinated by the tidbits in this book. However, I was expecting more of a memoir of the author's time at the auction houses and his feelings and stories about the places. The title does inform the reader that this will be a catalog of information in the form of a "dictionary" but, I guess I was still expecting more.

  • Mysteryfan
    2018-11-27 02:46

    This was a clever and candid look at art and how it achieves financial valuation. It was witty and knowledgeable, as you'd expect from this author. I loved the chapter where he ran through the Impressionists and explained which paintings were more valuable and why. His glossary was terrific. His discussions are British-oriented of course, but all the more fascinatnig for the explanations of a particular niche. Well worth reading

  • Hallie
    2018-11-21 07:53

    I may have started this book with the wrong impression of what it's about or how it would be structured. Future readers beware - this book literally takes a dictionary A-Z approach to talk about terms and practices relevant to the art world. With very little to connect the dots between the terms being presented (though the author does attempt to do some basic grouping), I just couldn't find this a compelling read and found myself just looking to get to Z...

  • Jakenv
    2018-11-26 03:51

    Found to be a most useful resource for refresher on art. Art students will not find as useful as those outside field. Looking to become at least able to converse on subject this book more than adequate. Have added to my reference collection for further spot checking. Received as winner from Goodreads which does not influence my review.

  • Kristin
    2018-11-28 08:50

    A very useful and simple to understand book on art history and the art world in general. I found that it explained everything very well, so it would be perfect for someone who is just getting into art. As an art history student myself I found this book to be extremely helpful and I will probably use elements of it in my future studies.

  • Bo Olsen
    2018-11-19 04:47

    I totally enjoyed this book for the simple fact that it had so much information about the Art world I was unaware of. The who, what, whys, and wherefores of why art sells is all here. Do you have a favorite artist? Find out why his work sells, and from what period, his or her nudes or landscapes are commanding more and why. If your interested in art, it opens another door, enjoy.

  • Zivile
    2018-12-17 05:42

    When you graduate in Art History, you probably think about one option: straight to an art museum. But what about such starter as a auction place? Sounds too dilettante? But wait until you read this awesome book. Much to learn from it!

  • Rose
    2018-12-10 08:46

    This is a very interesting book, despite its strange organization. It has many insights into the art and auction worlds and is written in a lively, engaging tone. Illustrations are good, though I wished that at least some were in color.

  • Craig Ewen
    2018-11-21 04:49

    Broad in its scope and mostly very interesting; covers not too much of the purely financial and quite a lot in the way of fascinating insight into both the commercial art world and the lives (and career-enhancing deaths) of many artists. Hook's rather endearing wit adds to the entertainment.

  • Teagan
    2018-12-16 10:55

    From previous reviews i was not expecting the title "from a to z" to be so literal. Little alphabetical blurbs about art subjects, nothing in particular to do with Sothebys.So i was disappointed.But i have placed the book in the batroom for random short reads.

  • Florina
    2018-12-10 08:33

    Entertaining and knowledgeable, but also thin and frustrating (i honestly doubt most readers want to know about taxation and financial investments. also, there are sooo many dudebro jokes that are old even by early 2000s standards).

  • Hillingdon Libraries
    2018-12-15 04:33

    Find this book at Hillingdon Libraries