My Grandfather’s Gallery: A Family Memoir of Art and War
Sinclair chronicles the life of her grandfather, Paul Rosenberg, an art dealer who was most successful between WWI and WWII. Paul advocated contemporary art before it was widely popular. He endorsed artists like Picasso, van Gogh, Césanne, Delacroix, Léger, Matisse, Sisley, Vuillard, Utrillo, Corot, Monet, and Braque. The Nazis blacklisted Paul for his sale of entartete Kunst (EK), ‘degenerate art.’ By the end of the war, Paul had lost 400 paintings, was stripped of his French nationality, and his gallery was tainted by its role in Vichy France’s promotion of Nazi propaganda.
True to her roots as a journalist, Sinclair grounds this well-researched story in the political events and the art scene of her grandfather’s day. Readers with an interest in art history will enjoy the detailed description of the relationship between Paul and Picasso or ‘Pic,’ as Paul fondly called him, as well as the inclusion of other influential figures in the art world. However, readers seeking a family memoir laden with a granddaughter’s fond memories of her grandfather will be disappointed. Sinclair focuses more on the events which influenced and surrounded Paul Rosenberg’s life than the man himself, and only brief sections indicate that it was written by a family member.
|Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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