Archive for September, 2009

The Weight of Public Opprobrium

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With a verdict in the criminal trial of Brooke Astor’s son Anthony Marshall imminent, David Patrick Columbia’s New York Social Diary takes its latest contrarian’s look at the subject and at the unindicted yet publicly convicted co-conspirator, Marshall’s second wife, Charlene. “Whether you like to think of her that way [or] not, Brooke Astor, maybe a typical mother-in-law, was for years unkind and off-handed about her daughter-in-law,” Columbia writes. “That must have been an embarrassment (not to mention hurtful) to her son. Others are not fazed by that kind of embarrassment, as long as it’s not them. Furthermore, the players … Continue reading

Soup’s On! (or, Revolution No. 9)

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Rogues’ Gallery returns to the Book Soup (West Hollywood) bestseller list this week. A thousand thanks to the best l’il book store in Los Angeles.

Inflation at The Wall Street Journal

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In late August, the real estate column in the Wall Street Journal (locked behind a firewall, so no link, sorry!) ran a notable sentence about the subject of my penultimate book, 740 Park. It was notable because in a mere twenty words, it contained five errors. As the self-appointed guardian of 740 facts, I penned what I hoped was a wry note (inspired by the one John Lennon wrote to Queen Elizabeth when he returned his MBE to the British Crown “in protest against Britain’s involvement in the Nigeria-Biafra thing, against our support of America in Vietnam, and against ‘Cold … Continue reading

Will Wonders Never Cease?

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The amazing persistence of Rogues’ Gallery in the marketplace is an endless source of delight. Now, even the daily New York Times — which, as many have noted, has never deigned to notice this book about a major local cultural institution, and mysteriously cancelled a publication-week review by Janet Maslin — is paying attention. Albeit in the Home section, instead of those that cover its subject. But authors can’t be choosers in this world. Reporter Penelope Green asked me to compare the passel of interior designers gathered at a party for Elle Decor editor Margaret Russell to the city’s cultural … Continue reading

Tom’s Foolery

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Back in May, shortly after Rogues’ Gallery was published, the Metropolitan Museum’s new director, “Tapestry Tom” Campbell, addressed the subject of the book at a meeting of the museum’s board of trustees and told them, according to the minutes, “It has not received much coverage.” He spoke too soon. A summary of commentary on the book to date, including the museum’s own less-than-admiring opinion of it, is here.

You won’t read this in WWD…

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… but Laura Hunt gave a great cocktail party in Dallas for Rogues’ Gallery on Wednesday night — and helloooooo.com has the photos the regular chroniclers of such fashionable events won’t dare run. The book that must-not-be-named was “embraced by Dallas,” the site says. And SFR International (it stands for Social and Financial Responsibility) covers the next day’s Rogues’ Gallery luncheon at the Adolphus Hotel. “Michael Gross knows how to weave a spellbinding tale,” says the site. “His story takes us behind the scenes of one of the greatest museums on earth [and] takes Non Fiction to new heights. His … Continue reading

Where’s Your Beef?

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In a review almost as long as Rogues’ Gallery itself, Oscar White Muscarella, a longtime curator at and gadfly within the Metropolitan Museum of Art, reports that at a May 12th, 2009 meeting of the Board of Trustees of the MMA, its new director, Thomas Campbell slammed the book as “a sardonic mixture of gossip and sloppily recounted fact that takes cheap pot shots at the Museum’s dearest and closest supporters.” The meeting minute-taker, Muscarella continues, piles on and adds that Campbell “derides the publication.” What Muscarella doesn’t say because, I am guessing, neither did Campbell to the dear trustees … Continue reading

“A compelling portrait of New York”

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“Michael Gross is an acclaimed cultural journalist and an incisive, skilled, gossip-driven chronicler of the fashion and society worlds,” writes Raymond Dowd in the New York Law Journal [subscription-only]. “He is fearlessly able to breach walls of secrecy and to nail down a story where no one wants to talk. As we move through the breathless behind-the-scenes narrative, we see the Met as we now know it take shape. Battles are fought over naming galleries, restrictions on donations are ignored by the latest generation of trustees, and the new donor holding the next great treasure is courted assiduously by an … Continue reading

The Hits Just Keep on Coming

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In FYIDC, its insider’s guide, Washington Life magazine called Rogues’ Gallery “the ultimate insider’s look at the colorful characters who populate New York’s Metropolitan Museum.”

Dishing in Dallas

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Today’s Dallas Morning News tips its hat at Rogues’ Gallery. The paper’s entertainment and society columnist Alan Peppard calls it “a dishy read about behind-the-scenes social and civic maneuvering of the moguls who shaped the Metropolitan Museum of Art.” I’ll be speaking next Thursday, September 17th, at a literary luncheon at the Adolphus hotel in Dallas.

“Mighty enticing”

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In its Labor Day issue, Hamptons Magazine calls Rogues Gallery “a fascinating look into the inner workings of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.” The story isn’t online, so grab a copy while you can.

If a review fell in the forest…

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It was only last week that I heard that Art & Antiques magazine had reviewed Rogues’ Gallery back in July and, I was further informed, called its author (i.e. me) boorish and scornful. It took a day to find a copy, but when I did I read, to my great surprise, “Hucksters and Housekeepers,” one of the most perspicacious reviews of the book yet published. Jonathon Keats, who is apparently an artist, did indeed say I was boorish (on the subject of art, which isn’t the book’s subject, but never mind), and scornful (but of “the pettiness of rich trustees … Continue reading

“Juicy and substantial”

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Bill Benzon has penned a great essay on Rogues’ Gallery for The Valve, the literary web site. He calls it “a tell-much extravaganza… about the rich and powerful folks behind New York City’s Met, one of the finest art museums in the world. Stick this Rogues’ Gallery in your weekend bag or on your night stand and read it at your leisure. It won’t disappoint… With only a little more effort, however, and perhaps a little thought here and there, you can read a more substantial book, one that raises a serious question: Is the social web that created and … Continue reading

Rogues’ Gallery Hits the Bestseller List

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Rogues’ Gallery has just debuted at #7 on the Non-Fiction Bestseller List of Book Soup in West Hollywood, California, one of the best independent book stores in America. Thanks to the Angelenos who put it there! And thanks, too, to the book-loving newspapers across the country that print its influential list.