Selected Reading List for the Albany Museum of Art Book Club


June 14—ALBANY — It’s time to restock your library. The AMA Art Lovers Book Club has announced the six books members will discuss during the fourth season of Albany Museum of Art book club meetings.

“I’m very excited about this season’s selections,” said Annie Vanoteghem, AMA Director of Education and Public Programming. “This is an opportunity to discover a new reading that you may have never heard of or never thought of reading. The discussions will certainly be lively and stimulating to encourage us all to deepen our knowledge or our appreciation of the art world.”

The AMA Book Lovers Club meets at 6 p.m. on the third Tuesday of each month on a rotating basis in the AMA’s Willson Auditorium at 311 Meadowlark Drive. There is no official membership, and everyone is welcome to join in the conversation with other art and book enthusiasts over a glass of wine or other favorite beverages. The club meets in July, September, November, January, March and May.

“Good art, good book, good wine and good company,” Vanoteghem said. “Together they create a relaxing, enjoyable and engaging evening.”

Club members have selected these titles for Season 4, which begins on July 19.

July 19: “Provenance: how a con man and a forger rewrote the history of modern art”

Investigative journalists Laney Salisbury and Aly Sujo give a thrilling and explosive account of one of the most extraordinary con artists in the history of forgery art, which stretched from Paris to London to New York. They tell the story of John Drewe, a memorable villain, and artist John Myatt, his accomplice, who mined the archives of British art institutions to irrevocably legitimize the hundreds of pieces they forged. Many of these works are still considered authentic and are found in prominent museums and private collections.

September 20: “William H. Johnson: The Truth Must Be Spoken”

Steve Turner tells the story of William H. Johnson (1901-70), an African American from South Carolina who moved to New York and Europe, where he became a successful artist. Johnson moved to the Big Apple as a teenager to live with his uncle and worked as a cook, stevedore and porter. He earned a scholarship to the National Academy of Design School, where he won nearly every student award available. He moved permanently to Europe after marrying Danish textile artist Holcha Krake and enjoyed wide success as an artist until the outbreak of World War II forced the couple to move to New York. When his wife died, Johnson’s mental and physical health collapsed and he stopped painting in 1947. Turner traces the fate of Johnson’s enormous body of work, which was handled for him by court-appointed guardians and the Harmon Foundation.

November 15: “Hidden in the shadow of the master: The model wives of Cézanne, Monet and Rodin”

Art historian Ruth Butler, through extensive research, brings dimension to the wives of Paul Cézanne, Claude Monet and Auguste Rodin, three of the most famous French artists of their generation. In his words, Butler painted portraits of Hortense Fiquet, Camille Doncieux and Rose Beuret, wives of Cézanne, Monet and Rodin, respectively. Each woman was first a model for her future husband. By exploring the lives of wives, Butler offers new insight into how wives enriched the quality of their respective husbands’ work.

January 17: “In full sunlight”

Novelist Claire Clark imagines the true story of a trio of Berliners caught up in a nationwide arts scandal during the Nazi rise to power. Berlin was sharply divided between the ultra-rich and the poor, and Germany was heading towards a second world war after its humiliating defeat in the Great War in the 1920s. It was then that a young art student, an art expert and a mysterious art dealer have teamed up to make an astonishing discovery that shakes the already turbulent nation – 32 unknown works of art by the famous Vincent van Gogh.

March 21: “Just give me a glass of cold water before I die”

Beloved author Maya Angelou demonstrates her zest for life and her rage against injustice in this wonderful collection of poems that explore love and regret, racial strife and confrontation, songs of the people and songs of the heart.

May 16: “Love in the Time of Cholera”

Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel García Márquez’s 1985 novel follows the lives of passionate young lovers Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza. Ariza is devastated when Daza instead chooses to marry a wealthy doctor. Ariza has been pining for her for over half a century as he rises in business and goes through hundreds of unsatisfactory affairs. The death of her husband gives the now elderly Ariza one last chance to declare her love to Daza.

Information about the AMA Art Lovers Book Club is available at

AMA EXHIBITIONS – “Homecoming,” which features works from the Albany Museum of Art’s permanent collection, is in all galleries until August 13.

The Albany Museum of Art is located at 311 Meadowlark Drive, adjacent to Albany State University West Campus, just off Gillionville Road. The museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Free entry.

For more information about the AMA, visit the website or call (229) 439-8400. Be sure to follow @AlbanyArtMuseum on Twitter, AlbanyMuseum on Instagram, and AlbanyMuseumOfArt on Facebook.


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