booklist_logo1
The latest pre-publication review of Rogues’ Gallery is in from Booklist’s May 15th issue. “A big tell-all book about a big museum,” it says. “Art has always inspired obsession and crime, and the movers and shakers at the helm of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art couldn’t have amassed its extraordinary collections without the shenanigans of art-world rogues, be they outright thieves, clandestine swindlers, or extreme egomaniacs. Gross relishes every nefarious or audacious episode as he marches through the museum’s fascinating history of curatorial excellence, social climbing, and skulduggery. It’s a tale of elitists versus populists, of spectacular gifts and scandals, trustees refusing to consider art made by living artists and formidable innovators, especially Robert Moses and Thomas Hoving. Whether he is portraying the museum’s first director, the scoundrel Luigi Palma di Cesnola, John D. Rockefeller (the museum’s “greatest benefactor”), curator Henry Geldzahler, Diana Vreeland of the Costume Institute, or, in the most sordid chapter, vice chairman Annette de la Renta, Gross zestfully mixes factual reportage with piquantly entertaining anecdotes.”