Ently I retaliatedI sat looking glum wanting to make them think I had decided againstI had tricked Heckscher and the city government It worked No one figured it outI sneaked up to the door of the room Where He Was Phoning And ListenedAfter My he was phoning and listenedAfter my enthusiasm with Hecht I chose a different tack I ignored him completely He began to waverAnd amusingly enough neither he nor Rousseau nor Bothmer realized what had occurred I smiled and waved my hand dismissively but I was so excited I was elling insideI got in touch with Jayne Wrightsman and carried on despondently about how we were going to miss the greatest French painting in the world I explained that the university was shopping it around I neglected to tell her we had first and last crack at itI sped to London got instructions on how to drive to Sutton Place from getty s secretary and rented a car the s secretary and rented a car the car possible a Morris Mini and paid a tip not to have t It might be a mistake to come into writing this 60 seconds after putting the book down but this book sure was a ride For me with my smattering of readings on museum work
and cultural heritage provenance this was an enlightening fascinating often appalling look at how the cultural heritage provenance this was an enlightening fascinating often appalling look at how the was run for a decade in the middle of the last century For anyone however it would be a rollercoaster of a narrative It s a memoir of a director of the Met in many ways but also serves as a tell all as well as an educational tool for those wanting to dip their feet into museum doings and etcI highly recommend this book this is one of those ones that I m bummed I checked out from the library rather than purchased for myself OY I read over 400 pages of a memoir written by someone who I really do not like Thomas Hoving while clearly talented and charismatic comes across as a pompous ass careless of others feelings hyper focused on his own image and too ready to give himself credit for all things good that happen during his tenure at The Met To be fair he s also unafraid to point out some of his less vaunted moments but on the balance he fancies himself a master of the universe and it becomes tiresomeoh so tiresome chapter after chapter I thought the writing was certainly punchy and he is dishy going for the jugular in a forthright manner but the writing was also sloppy and disorganized and that was hard for me to deal with after about page 250 On the upside the intimate peek into the workings of the Met was absolutely fascinating Being a docent there may have made me particularly susceptible to the revelations about donors trustees and acuisitions but for anyone interested in the high stakes world of fine art multi millionaires and their enormous egos and tantrums the sketchy nature of some museum operations and the never ending race to be the best in New York City no matter what business ou re in then this book certainly provides some entertainments but one hundred less pages would have been welcomed by me Woo Never a dull moment No spade not called a spade no opinion unexpressed One thing I will certainly say for Thomas Hoving though is that he isn t any afraid to discuss his own foibles and shortcomings and outright failures than he is everyone else s That s part of what makes his writing appealing When his own horn deserves tooting it certainly gets tooted and again he is fair others horns toot all over the place as well but he doesn t ignore his errors I m still stunned by the sheer underhandedness that went into the acuisition of many if not most of the works in the museum and the strata of hatred and enmity and cronyism throughout the art and antiuities community Maybe it s just as well I never went that route it was a passing dream I would. Rs; from striking secret agreements with the world's most powerful dealers to sidestepping rivals; from securing blockbuster exhibitions like Tut and The Glory of Russian Costume to seizing the most phenomenal Velazuez portrait Hoving shares not only the nimbleness and brashness that made him so effective but also the zeal and passion that made the Met so exciting Making the Mummies Dance is told in the head on even naughty way that is trademark Hoving This is an important shocking museum story and an unforgettable tale of power struggles and one upmanship fame big money and of course great art.
Thomas Hoving ↠ 2 ReadShip making as many enemies as splendid art acuisitions along the way He strategizes schemes and talks his way around almost everyone from the NY uber rich to shady art dealers in foreign dark alleys He doesn t mince words or assessments of individuals like Senator Robert Kennedy he had been cold and nasty with me to patrons like Nelson Rockefeller or rivals like J Carter Brown the director of the National Gallery in Washington DC He unabashedly uotes people like his political patron Mayor John Lindsey Get some of those old rich farts to put up the dough Likewise he is generous with praise for those he respects and admires like eminent art scholar John Pope Hennessy as a professional I had always found him matchless or Jacueline Kennedy Onassis I have never met anyone who carried the burden of celebrity so graciously As a former provincial museum educator I found the Byzantine workings of Hoving and the museum from jet setting around the world wrestling with Soviet bureaucracy to advising the empress of Iran thoroughly engaging Yet at the heart of all the power wrangling machinations is Hoving s driving passion for art If not for his ambition the Egyptian Temple of Dendur and the stunning north wing of the museum that houses it the magnificent Greek Euphronios krater of
510 BC nor the ground breaking photographic exhibition Harlem on My Mind would have never seen the lightBC nor the ground breaking photographic exhibition Harlem on My Mind would have never seen the light day As he wrote I have fallen in love often with works of art than with women We the public get to be the beneficiaries of that love and this book is a raucous rollicking documentation of that romance Really entertaining stuff at first but completely lost steam at the end Although that s been true of almost all books for me recently so maybe it s a me thingHoving gives almost scary insight into the politics and shenanigans behind running a major museum Sometimes I found it shocking how much he was willing to reveal he comments blithely on his sleazy paris doings even while in the next page talking about the wisdom of his wife He spares no unflattering detail about his colleagues even those he terms great friends And of course it s a product of his Mad Men esue time he couldn t name a single female colleague without first labeling her degree of attractiveness which caused me some excessive eye rollingHoving is also unbearably full of himself a statemen Thomas Hoving served as the director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art from 1967 1977 and was responsible for helping create the era of the blockbuster exhibition He saw his mission as acuiring the greatest works of art that would come on the market even if it meant deaccessioning large groups of lesser works Under his leadership the Met bought the Euphronios Krater created around 515 BC and considered one of the finest ancient Greek vases in existence it was repatriated to Italy in 2008 since it had originally been stolen by tomb raiders and Diego Vel zuez s Portrait of Juan de Pareja which cost 54 million in 1971 about 343 million in 2020 dollars which doesn t even sound that outrageous given the prices Van Goghs and even Basuiats are going forEuphronios Krater Portrait of Juan de ParejaHoving depicts himself as a swashbuckler easily bored uick to anger he was kicked out of Phillips Exeter after six months for punching a Latin teacher He admits to being a womanizer hiring pricey call girls while on business trips in Europe a sex tourist in Vienna Most of all he is a man deeply impressed by his own wiliness and subterfuges in the pursuit of getting what he wanted and by the end of the memoir I was relieved To Stop Reading Things stop reading things tried to look innocentI smiled benignly I nodded my head in agreement Then Ace The museum is a vibrant if uietly influential community inhabited and run by singular sorts of people trustees and curators connoisseurs and conservators It is steeped in history and tradition and seems to move in a serene and elegant world of impeccable manners and the finest taste Behind the proper social veneers and pristine marble galleries Hoving reveals the cutthroat precincts where the real business of the Met is carried out From seducing important patrons like Robert Lehman Nelson Rockefeller Walter Annenberg and Brooke Astor to spiriting ancient treasures across international borde. .
Mr Hoving turned the Metropolitan Museum of Art from a staid collection of paintings and sculpture a staid collection of paintings and sculpture a vibrant collection of all that art can and should be for anyone to come in and enjoy That is opinion but one generally held by most historians who studied the evolution of Manhattan s jewel during the late 60 s until the late 70 s I m withholding any other opinion save that it is a shame Mr Hoving took the time to be a cheap greasy sleazeball of a weasel to each and every person he felt slighted him in nearly any way during those ears and even worse to print this book when so many of these people are dead and cannot defend themselves from his bitchy commentary That is my OWN opinion garnered after reading a book I honestly had looked forward to reading for 69 Sex Positions. Essential Moves to Spice Up Your Sex Life (with illustrations) years The Metropolitan Art Museum is one of my favorite places to visit To sip tea in the American Wing overlooking Central Park is lovely To see the Tiffany glass works and the large Rodin statue in that wing is one of my favorite t How can the direction of a museum of antiuities be interesting Dealing with old items from people most often no longer living for manyears is exciting Turns out The Devil of Nanking yes Maybe the fact that the Indiana Jones movie came out a fewears earlier inspired me It did show the world that at least in a film that collecting antiues could be an adventure This book is not an action adventure but if Gunnin' For Love you enjoy a bit of sleuthing in the hunt for truth in origin and history this is a good book Hoving not only shows how experts have to evaluation the important of history of an item he shows the seedy side of how people throughout history have tried and often succeeded in tricking others in the value of an artistic piece But is not artistic importance and beauty in the eye of the beholder Welles But one wants to know that they are getting the real goods and not a knock off This is especially true in the world of high price tags for museums and serious collectors Feel in love with Hoving and his storytelling with this book That was a craaaazy read most of the time I did not even believe I was reading non fiction Wow insane When I was a wide eyed sixteen Timoe year old aspiring artist I saw in Time Magazine that a painting Diego Velazuez s 1650 masterpiece Juan de Pareja was bought for 54 million dollars It was the highest price that had ever been paid for a painting at auction up until that time The painting had a profound effect on me and influenced the course of my artistic enuiry for a long time afterward Severalears later as an art student I waited in line for literally hours at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to see the breath taking blockbuster exhibition The Treasures of Tutankhamun The man responsible for both these momentous events in my artistic consciousness was THE INDOMITABLE AND CONTROVERSIAL DIRECTOR OF indomitable and controversial director of Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City Thomas HovingMaking the Mummies Dance is his extraordinary 1994 record of his tenure as director of the premiere art institution of New York city Now ou could be forgiven for thinking Right
a book about a museum director what could be of a sleeper but Hoving was not our average museum administrator Hebook about a museum director what could be of a sleeper but Hoving was not Catwoman your average museum administrator He and oversaw the largest revamp of arguably the most influential museum in the United States His impact is still felt today almost fortyears later If we didn t have this as proof of the effect he had on the culture of museums it would be easy to dismiss much of what he writes as colourful bombast and exaggeration In this book he jumps off the page full of energy and ideas bumping and scraping with almost everyone he meets His driving irreverent style reflects his approach to his director. No museum in the world is like the Metropolitan Museum of Art and no man has ever run it or revolutionized it uite like Thomas Hoving In a decade Hoving changed almost everything people had grown accustomed to from the Met shaking the institution out of royal repose and transforming it into the most vital cultural presence in the country Now the irrepressible former director delivers a fearless account of his life at the pinnacle of the art world a modern Vanity Fair a true story of masterpieces and money society and scandal intrigue and international theft The Met is than a dazzling art showpl.