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4.12.19

Welcome to the RedDot library, a constantly rotating list of both fiction and non-fiction titles for every art lover. Want to brush up on your art knowledge without reading a textbook?  Peep our list of art library must-haves, from factual market analysis (that is still captivating!) to smart art world satire.

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An Object of Beauty

An Object of Beauty

Written by Steve Martin (yes, that Steve Martin), An Object of Beauty follows Lacey Yeager and her ambitious climb up the ladder of the New York art world.  I always knew Steve Martin was an avid collector, but his knowledge of and ability to articulate the inner workings of the gallery and auction world as told by a young female is frighteningly accurate.

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A Buyer’s Guide to Prints

This book addresses the most common thing I hear from collectors: “I don’t buy prints I only buy originals.” Spoiler alert: they are often the same thing! The definitive guide for buying prints, a medium that we recommend to all new buyers for both its affordability and its accessibility.

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The Monuments Men

When Hitler rounded up Jewish citizens during World War II, he confiscated their personal effects, which including millions of artworks and antiques. What wasn’t burned was kept by high ranking officers.  “The Monuments Men” tells the story about the American soldiers charged with recovering this priceless trove. Fascinating, TRUE, and an important part of our world history.  (Side note:  the book was made into a mediocre film. Though it stars George Clooney, we recommend sticking with the text.) 

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The $12 Million Stuffed Shark

An in-depth look at the economics and marketing strategies that power the baffling and often times inexplicable contemporary art market.  Non-fiction but an easy read.  Simpson does a great job of speaking in non-art world speak.

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The Orange Balloon Dog

In his follow-up to The $12 Million Stuffed Shark, economist Don Thompson explores the recent landscape of art speculation, from Qatar to Los Angeles. Taking the pulse of a phenomenon that is part Wild West and part South Sea Bubble, Thompson has a simple message about the art market: beware, for this too shall pass. He makes clear that the overinflated prices we have become accustomed to reading about in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal are not sustainable, and muses about how fast and how far the market will fall. It is not a matter of if, but of when — and he appears to believe that it will happen sooner rather than later.

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Who’s Afraid of Contemporary Art?

Undoubtedly the most alienating sector of the market, contemporary art is made simple (well, simpler) with this A to Z guide offering concise and pointed insights into today’s art scene, demystifying conceptual art and answering all the questions about contemporary art you were afraid to ask.


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