Composed with the skills of a master, The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his longing for his mother, he clings to the one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the criminal world.
The Goldfinch combines unforgettably vivid characters, mesmeriz-ing language, and breathtaking suspense, while plumbing with a philosopher's calm the deepest mysteries of love, identity, and art. It is a beautiful, stay-up-all-night-and-tell-your-friends triumph, an old-fashioned story of loss and obsession, survival and self-invention, and the ruthless machinations of fate.FIA book discussions focus on works of fiction and non-fiction related to art, art museums, or FIA collections. The first meeting for each book sets the stage by exploring artists and artwork related to the selected book. Two weeks later, the book is discussed. These free programs are offered on Wednesdays at 1:30p.
Antoine Watteau, one of the most mysterious painters who ever lived, is the inspiration for this delightful investigation of the tangled relationship between art and life. Weaving together historical fact and personal reflections, the influential art critic Jed Perl reconstructs the amazing story of this pioneering bohemian artist who, although he died in 1721 when he was only 36, has influenced innumerable painters and writers in the centuries since. Perl creates an astonishing experience by gathering his reflections on this "master of silken surfaces and elusive emotions" in the form of an alphabet—a fairy tale for adults—giving us a new way to think about art. This is a hunt for the treasure of Watteau's life and vision that encompasses the glamour and intrigue of 18th-century Paris, the riotous history of Harlequin and Pierrot, and the work of such modern giants as Cézanne, Picasso, and Samuel Beckett. It is a book to savor, to share, and to return to again and again.
Our first meeting will set the stage by exploring the work of Antoine Watteau. Two weeks later, we'll meet to discuss the book. Books are available in the Museum Shop.
The middle of the third millennium BCE (about 2500 BCE) in southern Mesopotamia saw the rise of an elite class who oversaw the religious and governmental affairs of the numerous city states of the region. These educated, literate bureaucrats were in many ways like the merchants of Renaissance Italy and the burghers of 17th Century Netherlands—in that they liked images of themselves. In Mesopotamia these managers, who could be male or female, dedicated small stone statues of themselves in temples, ostensibly as testaments of their piety. Accompanying inscriptions give us a glimpse of the vibrant personalities who commissioned the sculptures.
Dr. Kawami will introduce us to Ebih-il, the temple superintendent from Mari who seemed very pleased with his life. We will see how Ishme-dagan, a ruler of Mari, preferred size over subtlety in his portrait sculpture. And we will observe how damaged sculptures could be reused to serve another generation of donors.
So she's understandably apprehensive when her connoisseur's eye spots something off about a multimillion-dollar Jackson Pollock painting at the Palm Springs Brethwaite Museum, her current employer.
Alix is already under fire, the object of a vicious online smear campaign. Now the Brethwaite's despicable senior curator, obsessed with the "maximization of monetized eyeballs," angrily refuses to take action. But it's only after a hooded intruder attacks Alix in her hotel room that the real trouble begins. And when FBI Special Agent Ted Ellesworth—with whom Alix had inadvertently, but thoroughly, botched a budding relationship just a year prior—turns up to investigate the Pollock, Alix knows she's about to have her hands full.
In her third mystery, Alix London must see through mirages in the desert to uncover the knotted history of the painting—and save herself in the process.