Customer Reviews for

Rogues' Gallery: The Secret Story of the Lust, Lies, Greed, and Betrayals That Made the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Average Rating 3.5
( 9 )
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  • Posted November 26, 2009

    Mind-boggling tales of the rich and famous

    We all know Picasso was a rogue, but who would have guessed that the people who created the Metropolitan Museum were actually far worse...and their heirs today are worse than that! This book has heroes like John D. Rockefeller Jr and Brooke Astor, villains like Anna Wintour and Oscar and Annette de la Renta, and people who fall somewhere in-between like the Janes, Jayne Wrightsman and Jane Engelhard, two socialites with stories right out of a Dominick Dunne novel--only you can't make this kind of stuff up. Gross's research is incredible, his storytelling hypnotic, but it's the rogues of the title who make this a must read if you want to know what the rich poobahs who run New York society are REALLY like. These people make Bernie Madoff look like a cardboard cutout.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 22, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Too Negative

    Certainly this book lives up to the jacket's promises about its gossip-filled content. Nevertheless, I was somewhat disappointed. Somehow the gossip overrides the positive aspects of the Metropolitan Museum's history leaving a kind of salacious feeling. The title belies its bias and the Met deserves better.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Interesting insight into NY's most influential people

    I'm not an art person, but heard interview with author and was captivated by fact no one wanted him to right this tell all book about Met. Its more than a history of Met, its an insight into NY high society and what makes them tick. Interesting American history as well. Its not a thrilling read, but its a fascinating one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 22, 2010

    This author tells a fabulous story

    I heard this author speak at the Mid-Manhattan Library a few months ago. He was such a fabulous speaker, I recommend him to all history aficionados -- especially Manhattan history -- what a great dinner speaker he would make. If you live in NYC, you're always curious about what makes Manhattan tick. Why are the lives of the rich and famous people who contribute to the Metropolitan Museum and to the New York Public Library -- why are they so protected from criticism by the media including the New York Times? This author tells all. More than once I wanted to go -- "Aha! So that's what happened. Wow!" To a reader who just wants Art alone, that's okay, but that's not the main feature of this book. The reader will get REALITY -- the people whose lives are entwined with the founding and development of this great museum. And it ain't all pretty. But it's a wonderful story.

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  • Posted December 29, 2009

    Slanted and tedious

    I agree with a previous review. The book is negative in the extreme. The author doesn't seem to know much about art and instead focuses his attention on the trustees and their foibles. This book is for you if your interested in New York society gossip. If your interested in art, look elsewhere.

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    Posted September 26, 2012

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    Posted May 29, 2011

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    Posted November 2, 2010

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    Posted August 4, 2010

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