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A singular man in the history of modern art, betrayed by Vichy, is the subject of this riveting family memoir On September 20, 1940, one of the most famous European art dealers disembarked in New York, one of hundreds of Jewish refugees fleeing Vichy France. Leaving behind his beloved Paris gallery, Paul Rosenberg had managed to save his family, but his paintings—modern mas A singular man in the history of modern art, betrayed by Vichy, is the subject of this riveting family memoir On September 20, 1940, one of the most famous European art dealers disembarked in New York, one of hundreds of Jewish refugees fleeing Vichy France. Leaving behind his beloved Paris gallery, Paul Rosenberg had managed to save his family, but his paintings—modern masterpieces by Cézanne, Monet, Sisley, and others—were not so fortunate. As he fled, dozens of works were seized by Nazi forces and the art dealer's own legacy was eradicated. More than half a century later, Anne Sinclair uncovered a box filled with letters. "Curious in spite of myself," she writes, "I plunged into these archives, in search of the story of my family. To find out who my mother's father really was . . . a man hailed as a pioneer in the world of modern art, who then became a pariah in his own country during the Second World War. I was overcome with a desire to fit together the pieces of this French story of art and war." Drawing on her grandfather's intimate correspondence with Picasso, Matisse, Braque, and others, Sinclair takes us on a personal journey through the life of a legendary member of the Parisian art scene in My Grandfather's Gallery. Rosenberg's story is emblematic of millions of Jews, rich and poor, whose lives were indelibly altered by World War II. Sinclair's journey to reclaim her family history paints a picture of modern art on both sides of the Atlantic between the 1920's and 1950's that reframes twentieth-century art history.


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A singular man in the history of modern art, betrayed by Vichy, is the subject of this riveting family memoir On September 20, 1940, one of the most famous European art dealers disembarked in New York, one of hundreds of Jewish refugees fleeing Vichy France. Leaving behind his beloved Paris gallery, Paul Rosenberg had managed to save his family, but his paintings—modern mas A singular man in the history of modern art, betrayed by Vichy, is the subject of this riveting family memoir On September 20, 1940, one of the most famous European art dealers disembarked in New York, one of hundreds of Jewish refugees fleeing Vichy France. Leaving behind his beloved Paris gallery, Paul Rosenberg had managed to save his family, but his paintings—modern masterpieces by Cézanne, Monet, Sisley, and others—were not so fortunate. As he fled, dozens of works were seized by Nazi forces and the art dealer's own legacy was eradicated. More than half a century later, Anne Sinclair uncovered a box filled with letters. "Curious in spite of myself," she writes, "I plunged into these archives, in search of the story of my family. To find out who my mother's father really was . . . a man hailed as a pioneer in the world of modern art, who then became a pariah in his own country during the Second World War. I was overcome with a desire to fit together the pieces of this French story of art and war." Drawing on her grandfather's intimate correspondence with Picasso, Matisse, Braque, and others, Sinclair takes us on a personal journey through the life of a legendary member of the Parisian art scene in My Grandfather's Gallery. Rosenberg's story is emblematic of millions of Jews, rich and poor, whose lives were indelibly altered by World War II. Sinclair's journey to reclaim her family history paints a picture of modern art on both sides of the Atlantic between the 1920's and 1950's that reframes twentieth-century art history.

30 review for My Grandfather's Gallery: A Family Memoir of Art and War

  1. 4 out of 5

    Marianne

    My Grandfather’s Gallery is a memoir by journalist and French TV host, Anne Sinclair. Sinclair was also the model for the statue of Marianne, the national emblem of France, the irony of which was not lost on her when she was required to prove her French ancestry for renewal of identity documents in 2010. This bureaucratic incident led Sinclair to research the life of her maternal grandfather, Paul Rosenberg, a well-known Parisian art dealer who was stripped of his French identity during World Wa My Grandfather’s Gallery is a memoir by journalist and French TV host, Anne Sinclair. Sinclair was also the model for the statue of Marianne, the national emblem of France, the irony of which was not lost on her when she was required to prove her French ancestry for renewal of identity documents in 2010. This bureaucratic incident led Sinclair to research the life of her maternal grandfather, Paul Rosenberg, a well-known Parisian art dealer who was stripped of his French identity during World War Two by the Vichy government because he was Jewish. Using published works and personal archives from her grandfather’s gallery as well as from Musee Picasso, the house of Henri Matisse and Musee National D’Art Moderne, including letters, photographs, and journal articles, Sinclair details Paul Rosenberg’s career, his exile to the United States and eventual return to France. The shocking looting of priceless artworks by the occupying German forces, French collaborators and opportunistic (and often trusted) friends, acquaintances and employees is also described. Paul himself stated: “We recovered some paintings looted by the Germans, or by dishonest Frenchmen. But I am not going to complain, it’s as nothing when you look at the horrors that the Nazis inflicted on human beings of all races, creeds and colors.” As well as discovering the depth of Paul’s friendships with his clients, in particular, Pablo Picasso, Sinclair uncovers some disturbing facts about her grandparents that she regrets learning. There are some amusing anecdotes about the family (“In the Loevi household, you didn’t button up in the face of adversity; you complained a lot and wallowed in your misfortune.”) and famous artists. There is also a heart-warming prologue regarding a plaque placed on the façade of 21 rue La Boetie in Paris, the site of the former Galerie Rosenberg. This is a memoir that will appeal to art lovers and those with an interest in the history of twentieth century art in France. It is flawlessly translated from French by Shaun Whiteside and is at once interesting, informative and moving.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    An interesting read - Anne Sinclair writes about her grandfather Paul Rosenberg's experience as a noted European art dealer who realized the genius of Picasso and Matisse, among others, before they were well-known. Sinclair tells the story of a family who leaves Paris to come to New York at the onset of WWII and begins life anew. The author has gone through archives of letters and recounts her own memories to put together the story of a man, his friendships with Picasso and Matisse, life as an a An interesting read - Anne Sinclair writes about her grandfather Paul Rosenberg's experience as a noted European art dealer who realized the genius of Picasso and Matisse, among others, before they were well-known. Sinclair tells the story of a family who leaves Paris to come to New York at the onset of WWII and begins life anew. The author has gone through archives of letters and recounts her own memories to put together the story of a man, his friendships with Picasso and Matisse, life as an art dealer and relationships within his own family

  3. 4 out of 5

    Eden

    2020 bk 106: I've been reading this book off and on for a month and finally forced myself to finish it. If you have any interest at all in Picasso, Matisse, or other European artists of the early 20th Century, then this book is a must. Anne Sinclair's grandfather was their exclusive European agent and wrote and visited them frequently. Her grandfather was also owner of an art gallery and Jewish and this book circles around the events leading up to WWII, his family's flight to American, the theft 2020 bk 106: I've been reading this book off and on for a month and finally forced myself to finish it. If you have any interest at all in Picasso, Matisse, or other European artists of the early 20th Century, then this book is a must. Anne Sinclair's grandfather was their exclusive European agent and wrote and visited them frequently. Her grandfather was also owner of an art gallery and Jewish and this book circles around the events leading up to WWII, his family's flight to American, the theft of the art from his gallery, and subsequent efforts to regain their collection. Her style of writing was hard for me to follow and her emphasis was on learning about her grandparent's lives, not so much the relationship with the artists. Despite my difficulties, this book does provide information for the art lover, but I am giving it a 3 because I did have problems with the organization of this book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Gary Heilbronn

    Highly recommended. I particularly enjoyed this book as much of it resonates with tales I have heard from my extended family and others. It is a family story by an author who was doubtless going through a troubled time in her life as she wrote it. More than anything, it delves into the life of the author's maternal grandfather, a Paris art dealer before and at the time of the Nazi occupation of France and the wholesale theft by not just the Nazis but other unscupulous individuals, of so much of Highly recommended. I particularly enjoyed this book as much of it resonates with tales I have heard from my extended family and others. It is a family story by an author who was doubtless going through a troubled time in her life as she wrote it. More than anything, it delves into the life of the author's maternal grandfather, a Paris art dealer before and at the time of the Nazi occupation of France and the wholesale theft by not just the Nazis but other unscupulous individuals, of so much of France's invaluable art. It is also the story of her grandfather's close friends and associates of the time, especially Picasso, Matisse and Braque and gives a passionate insight into the lives of artists under Nazi occupation ... a story still controversial that raises heated emotions in France, given how some resisted overtly, others resisted peaceably and still others happily helped themselves to any benefits that came from being on good terms with the Nazi occupiers. On another level the story that lies beneath is the story of money .. old money, social and political connexions that still carry weight today .. but begs the question: where did this old money come from. I cannot comment of the quality of the writing as my french is not that good (and the version I read is in french), but the structure was sometimes just a little hard to follow. Yet there is so much in this book that is appealing with its insights into the lives of great artists as well as those who suffered under Nazi oppression. So much there still resonates with today's world.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Perlie

    An absorbing story of identity, self and family, connection and loss. Many of the art works mentioned bear looking at.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    A more appropriate title for this book is "My Grandfather and His Gallery". While Sinclair does include her family in her memoir, it's not quite a "family memoir", and while she does mention war, it's not as prevalent as one would expect. It is a memoir of her realizing that she knew very little about her grandfather, Paul Rosenberg, the owner of a highly successful art dealer who represented such artists as Picasso, Matisse, and Braque, and her quest to learn more about him. What she finds is v A more appropriate title for this book is "My Grandfather and His Gallery". While Sinclair does include her family in her memoir, it's not quite a "family memoir", and while she does mention war, it's not as prevalent as one would expect. It is a memoir of her realizing that she knew very little about her grandfather, Paul Rosenberg, the owner of a highly successful art dealer who represented such artists as Picasso, Matisse, and Braque, and her quest to learn more about him. What she finds is very interesting as she gives us a glimpse into the Parisian art world pre-WWII and more personal looks at Picasso and Matisse. I've read about the main dealers such as Vollard and Durand-Ruel, but I never exactly understood the business, and her explanations of how her grandfather ran his business (a much more magnanimous dealer than most) helped me grasp its workings. He was instrumental in creating a market for those artists. Rosenberg was Jewish, and through his connections, he and his family are one of the few thousands able to escape persecution to America where he began a successful gallery in New York and live on the East Side and in Midtown. During the war, he traveled all over the country introducing Americans to modern art. Shortly after the war, he and his family move back to Paris. He was able to save much of his art, but not surprisingly, much of it was stolen by the Germans; surprisingly, he got much of it back. The Germans also set up a propaganda shop in his gallery, but he got that back, too, and was able to sell it. Even though his friendship with Picasso was never the same, he and his family continued to be successful selling art. Compared to millions of others, they were exceptionally fortunate. Compared to other memoirs such as Simon Goodan's "The Orpheus Clock: The Search for My Family's Art Treasure Stolen by the Nazis" and Edmund de Waal's "The Hare with the Amber Eyes", both of which deal with real loss of home, belongings, family, and the very real struggle to reclaim what was once theirs, this one seems a little flat. What I did find interesting was how France went back to the status quo in the post-war years. Many who collaborated with the Vichy government and Nazis were let off the hook and Jews and their collaborator neighbors seemed to go on being neighborly. It wasn't until the 1990's that people were finally being held accountable for their actions. And now France, like the rest of Europe (and America), is once again turning pro-Right and focusing on nationalism and identity. This human catastrophe that we are supposed to "never forget" continues to fade into the past as it seems we have to learn history all over again.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Karin Mika

    Enjoyable (but not tremendously enthralling) book about the author's journey into her family history. The author is the granddaughter of Parisian Gallery owner Paul Rosenberg, who was responsible for encouraging, if not creating the world's appreciation of modern artists such as Matisse, and Picasso. Rosenberg fled France before a full Nazi takeover, and managed to hide various paintings of the masters, while promoting their art from his new gallery in New York. After the war, Rosenberg returned Enjoyable (but not tremendously enthralling) book about the author's journey into her family history. The author is the granddaughter of Parisian Gallery owner Paul Rosenberg, who was responsible for encouraging, if not creating the world's appreciation of modern artists such as Matisse, and Picasso. Rosenberg fled France before a full Nazi takeover, and managed to hide various paintings of the masters, while promoting their art from his new gallery in New York. After the war, Rosenberg returned to Paris and spent the remainder of his life working to reclaim his own stolen art, as well as trying to locate the artwork pillaged by the Nazis. Rosenberg's gallery, ironically, was turned into a Nazi propaganda office during the war, and much of the book focuses on how the author spent most of her life not knowing that much about her grandfather other than that he was a well known art dealer. The book focuses on what the author discovers about how her grandfather helped change the art world, as well as how he unwittingly opposed the Nazis by promoting "new" as opposed to focusing on a grandeur of the past. Paul Rosenberg became a seminal figure in the history of the art world by virtue of his convictions, his meticulous record keeping, and his need to make sure that, no matter what, art must be preserved for the ages. I learned what I always learn in books of this type: Nazis, and those fanatical groups like them, are capable of inflicting such incalculable harm, and there is simply no way to understand how it could possibly have happened. Maniacs say and do things that every sane person should regard as off-the-wall, and yet the society proceeds in a march toward mass destruction seemingly as if in a hypnotic trance unable to notice the insanity they are perpetuating. The book, for me, was not as interesting as it might be for others because I am not an art aficionado. Nonetheless, I was able to have a great appreciation for what Paul Rosenberg meant to the art world.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Gail

    Anne Sinclair is an iconic figure in France - she was the French Christiane Amanpour for many years and then of course known infamously as the wife of Dominique Stauss Kahn during the hotel scandal where any hopes for him to become the next French president were dashed. I vaguely knew she came from a family who were art dealers before the war but I had no idea of the importance of her grandfather Paul Rosenberg to art history (represented and promoted Picasso and Matisse among others). Sinclair Anne Sinclair is an iconic figure in France - she was the French Christiane Amanpour for many years and then of course known infamously as the wife of Dominique Stauss Kahn during the hotel scandal where any hopes for him to become the next French president were dashed. I vaguely knew she came from a family who were art dealers before the war but I had no idea of the importance of her grandfather Paul Rosenberg to art history (represented and promoted Picasso and Matisse among others). Sinclair (who's real name is Schwartz - changed by her father ostensibly to avoid being found by Hitler's goons when he was a resitant), was born in New York where her family had settled after barely escaping the Nazis. The name comes from the location of the gallery in Paris which was taken by the Nazis and then ironically became the Institute for the study of the Jewish Question, under the Nazi Regime. Rosenberg was able to rebuild his business in New York and then fought for years after the war to get his paintings back. Touches interestingly on how France has dealt with its history with the Jews after the war.An excellent accompaniment to the novel, "Hare with Amber Eyes" - or the "Woman in Gold".

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Fascinating portrait of cosmopolitan Jews in France in the inter-war years. I knew a little bit about the Nazi theft of art, but enjoyed learning about it again through this one family, the Rosenbergs, and the patriarch Paul’s experiences as an art dealer, working with Picasso, Matisse and the like. The way art intersects with fascism seems vital for us to all understand these days.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Margalit

    I read this book in a one session; just could not stop. It touches upon all I care about (almost). Jews, Art, Paris, New York and family. Beautifully written, very dignified and careful never to allow for gossipy modes. I recommend it.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Helen

    Whilst a very interesting story to be told about an art dealer through the war years and beyond, his links to great artists such as Matisse and Picasso, it felt disjointed from chapter to chapter. However, I did enjoy learning about Paul Rosenberg's career and connections as an art dealer. Whilst a very interesting story to be told about an art dealer through the war years and beyond, his links to great artists such as Matisse and Picasso, it felt disjointed from chapter to chapter. However, I did enjoy learning about Paul Rosenberg's career and connections as an art dealer.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Claire

    Absolutely devoured this book. A beautifully written story of Paul Rosenberg’s career & life, covering topics of art, war, family and historical tragedy. Thank you, Anne, for sharing your family’s unique and extraordinary perspective.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Patricia Ogden

    This is potentially an interesting biography, but I found the writing style rather jumbled. As a result, I couldn't follow the narrative and so stopped reading the book. This is potentially an interesting biography, but I found the writing style rather jumbled. As a result, I couldn't follow the narrative and so stopped reading the book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Dr. JL

    A true story about a journalist's grandfather Hoopla Audio A true story about a journalist's grandfather Hoopla Audio

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads. Though I enjoyed this book, it does have its weaknesses. Some of it, I think, is the harm translation can sometimes do--not that it's poorly translated, but that (like so many other books) there were moments where I wondered if perhaps it was better in the original (despite not reading French). That doesn't mean that it's a difficult book to read in translation, just that I can be hyperaware of "I wonder if that changed in translation." I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads. Though I enjoyed this book, it does have its weaknesses. Some of it, I think, is the harm translation can sometimes do--not that it's poorly translated, but that (like so many other books) there were moments where I wondered if perhaps it was better in the original (despite not reading French). That doesn't mean that it's a difficult book to read in translation, just that I can be hyperaware of "I wonder if that changed in translation." The book is a very interesting look at the art world in Paris before WWII, and a little in New York during and after the war. That said, it's not as personal as the title implied to me--though yes, Sinclair is writing about her grandfather, she overwhelmingly seems to use archival materials that would have been available to any biographer with the dedication and means to travel. It doesn't make for a bad biography, and it does make a better-researched one--but it also feels strange when the expectation seemed to be set for a more personal discussion of Paul Rosenberg and his life and work. The introduction touches on the rise and continuance of antisemitism in France today, and that's an important thing. There's more to be gleaned from Paul Rosenberg's story than just that it happened sixty years ago and now should be relegated to art history, and the introduction does offer some illustration that the practice of repeating "never again" over and over does little when the ideological forces that permitted the Holocaust to happen continue to exist and have significant following. While reading, I felt that I might have enjoyed the book more if I had more background in modern art. I don't, as my art history background is quite sparse and limited mostly to Eastern Europe and to architecture. This meant that, though I certainly know who Picasso and Matisse were, I feel that I might have appreciated the entire thing more with a deeper understanding of the art movement in that time and place.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ingrid

    Wow. I just finished this in-depth look at Paul Rosenberg, famed French art dealer, through the eyes of the granddaughter who came to know him best posthumously. I loved Anne Sinclair's voice. She managed to relay a lot of French history in a manner that was captivating and enthralling. What I enjoyed most about the book was that it was neither a tale of just family, nor a tale of Nazi looting, rather it was a rich narrative of interwoven threads: family dynamics and secrets, the meaning of "mod Wow. I just finished this in-depth look at Paul Rosenberg, famed French art dealer, through the eyes of the granddaughter who came to know him best posthumously. I loved Anne Sinclair's voice. She managed to relay a lot of French history in a manner that was captivating and enthralling. What I enjoyed most about the book was that it was neither a tale of just family, nor a tale of Nazi looting, rather it was a rich narrative of interwoven threads: family dynamics and secrets, the meaning of "modern art," grasping her grandfather's personal sense of justice in trying to retrieve his stolen collection. "Too often the spectator looks for arguments within himself against the works rather than attempting to free himself from those conventions which he believes he understands, agrees with, and likes." I loved this quote because too often I find myself easily dismissing certain works or painters when it's really just an aversion to not understanding, and if I could only push myself to really challenge my thinking, I too could break free of my short sightedness. Sinclair's background as a journalist serves her well because even in the more history-heavy excerpts, I was engrossed. She approached her writing in a very poignant matter, even going so far as to question who these people she had grown up with really were. She dares to ask, "How daring was [Paul], really?" Imagine your family memories filled with priceless works of art by then-unknown painters! Summers spent at Picasso's house, or having your childhood portrait done by Marie Laurencin! Or knowing Van Gogh's famed Postman was a gift to the Met by your family...(This is at the Barnes, no?*) What an incredible and rich family history...

  17. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    This was simply written as someone might when taking notes while researching their family history. The writing was simple, yet since it's an English translation of a French text, it's difficult to comment on the original text. I found great appreciation for the writers grandfather and his love of art. I'm a sucker for people who know their passion and act on it. He believed in the new impressionistic art before the rest of the world could grasp it. He sold more traditional art in an effort to su This was simply written as someone might when taking notes while researching their family history. The writing was simple, yet since it's an English translation of a French text, it's difficult to comment on the original text. I found great appreciation for the writers grandfather and his love of art. I'm a sucker for people who know their passion and act on it. He believed in the new impressionistic art before the rest of the world could grasp it. He sold more traditional art in an effort to support someone like Picasso so the artist could focus on his work. For a while, Picasso lived next door to the gallery and used to unveil paintings in progress through a window for him to see. And having Rodin's "The Thinker" greet everyone in the foyer (the writer remembers this as a child, what a trip). Walls lined with Iconic works. And interesting tidbits like Picasso's painting of mother and child being that of the authors mother and grandmother. Of course, this story highlights the atrocities of the Nazis and lost art work. It also speaks of the bravery of those that saved many pieces of art. It also shines light on Nazi collaborators as well as just opportunistic people that weren't collaborators, just greedy. It also stumbles upon some family secrets that helped the writer put some family history into context, painful as it was to decide to share it with the world. I commend her for being truthful. This wasn't a book that swept me up into the narrative but it held my interest especially because of my love of art.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sharlene

    I received this book as the result of a FirstRead giveaway. I have to admit, I found that the first part of the book read more like a text book. Prepare yourself. It is dry. I started to warm up just before the halfway mark and found it easier to read. I wish I could say that I loved the family and warmed up to them but I found it more about facts than memories and less about who they were emotionally versus who they were in the art world. I do feel that Sinclair was exposed to an amazing era and I received this book as the result of a FirstRead giveaway. I have to admit, I found that the first part of the book read more like a text book. Prepare yourself. It is dry. I started to warm up just before the halfway mark and found it easier to read. I wish I could say that I loved the family and warmed up to them but I found it more about facts than memories and less about who they were emotionally versus who they were in the art world. I do feel that Sinclair was exposed to an amazing era and history but I did not feel that I got to see anything outside of the gallery or of her grandfather's life that was not tied into his quest for more art. I felt that his life was only about the gallery but didn't seem to include his family outside of discussions about what new piece he hung in their house. I see that he was a good businessman but I wonder, was he a good husband and father? And forgive me, I understand the memoir was about his gallery but I wanted more...perhaps a few funny anecdotes about clients and people who came to admire the art would have warmed me up more with the novel, and her grandfather, but I feel like he was cold to anyone who didn't agree with his opinion of art. The novel was translated from French and the editing was amazing. Smooth easy reading in regards to that. An interesting book, just a bit too dry for my taste.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Pascale

    This is a sincere but not terribly moving or useful book. Anne Sinclair does a decent job of summarizing some of the key scholarly works on the theft of art works in France during WWII, and supplements this with memories of her grand-father, the major art dealer Paul Rosenberg. In the course of her research in the family archives she finds out that her grand-mother had an affair, or at the very least a dalliance, with her grand-father's arch rival Georges Wildenstein. She agonizes briefly about This is a sincere but not terribly moving or useful book. Anne Sinclair does a decent job of summarizing some of the key scholarly works on the theft of art works in France during WWII, and supplements this with memories of her grand-father, the major art dealer Paul Rosenberg. In the course of her research in the family archives she finds out that her grand-mother had an affair, or at the very least a dalliance, with her grand-father's arch rival Georges Wildenstein. She agonizes briefly about whether to spill the beans or not, but if I'm able to bring it up, it's obviously because she chose to. Even the rich have unhappy marriages, why should it surprise her of all people? Sinclair sounds very fair-minded about all the protagonists of her story, but her narrative goes around in circles and for somebody who had the immense privilege of growing up surrounded by some of the iconic paintings and sculptures of the XIXth and XXth century, she doesn't have anything original to say about art or even how it affected her personally as a child. Readable but flat.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Meg

    I am glad I read this but clearly the subject matter is a bit dry. I was interested in the author and thought it would be an interesting biography to read. It reads as if it has been translated from French, which it has, and reads more as a research paper than family memories. The author is a well known french journalist. She came to the attention of Americans because her diplomat husband was accused of sexual misconduct (a nicer phrase) with a hotel maid. He was detained and she put up 6 million I am glad I read this but clearly the subject matter is a bit dry. I was interested in the author and thought it would be an interesting biography to read. It reads as if it has been translated from French, which it has, and reads more as a research paper than family memories. The author is a well known french journalist. She came to the attention of Americans because her diplomat husband was accused of sexual misconduct (a nicer phrase) with a hotel maid. He was detained and she put up 6 million to obtain his release during the trial. He was found innocent but later in France found guilty of involvement in prostitution. Where there is lots of smoke.....?? This book has none of the juicy stuff, however it was interesting to learn about her grandfather as Picasso's only agent. I was curious to read of his experience as a prosperous jewish art dealer during the war, the theft of much of the art he represented, and his new start in New York City. The story needed a little warmth in the telling. Again, maybe it was lost in translation.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Judy G

    This book was so right for me. It is about Anne Sinclair's connection to her grandfather Paul Rosenberg a very known art dealer and Jewish at the time of the Nazis. This tale which is true covers so much ground in the world of art. I am a great lover of art having seen so much that gives me great pleasure. I am Jewish and what happened to our people in those times is unspeakable and must always be remembered. At the end of the book she speaks of the painful circumstances of her returning to NYC This book was so right for me. It is about Anne Sinclair's connection to her grandfather Paul Rosenberg a very known art dealer and Jewish at the time of the Nazis. This tale which is true covers so much ground in the world of art. I am a great lover of art having seen so much that gives me great pleasure. I am Jewish and what happened to our people in those times is unspeakable and must always be remembered. At the end of the book she speaks of the painful circumstances of her returning to NYC from Paris and then I read about her marriage to Dominique Strauss Kahn. So in the end the book tale returns to her yet it is about Paul Rosenberg and Picasso and the Nazis and the French and .... I did not like Anne Sinclair from reading this book and that really is irrelevant. I think her grandfather's passion for something was not passed on to her. She is a good writer and yet lacks a fire..

  22. 4 out of 5

    Peggy Walt

    A sad but charmingly-written short book by French journalist Anne Sinclair, about her famous grandfather, Paul Rosenberg. Before WW2 he was one of the most famous art dealers in the world, and close friend and agent of Picasso. He really was the one who "broke" Picasso as a painter. Of course all that changed in 1939 and he and his family fled Europe, leaving behind his famed gallery and a treasurer trove of other paintings in a location where he thought they would be safe. It's not so much the A sad but charmingly-written short book by French journalist Anne Sinclair, about her famous grandfather, Paul Rosenberg. Before WW2 he was one of the most famous art dealers in the world, and close friend and agent of Picasso. He really was the one who "broke" Picasso as a painter. Of course all that changed in 1939 and he and his family fled Europe, leaving behind his famed gallery and a treasurer trove of other paintings in a location where he thought they would be safe. It's not so much the story of how the family fared, or the quest to return the looted art, but more a granddaughter's remembrance of her famous grandfather and an attempt to understand his milieu and significance. A book that popped out to me when I walked into the new Halifax Central Library - those librarians know how to hook you!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tuck

    paul rosenberg (and eventually his son kiki) had a gallery in paris, vichy s took over and stole most of his paintings. he managed to get out w/family to nyc and set up gallery there. he dealt in picasso, braque, marie laurencin, matisse, etc his granddaughter wrote this affecting book about what went down. my 2nd nonfiction book ive read recently originally in french, and both seemed stilted and less than forthcoming. a problem of translation? or a style of france today? The Gardener of Versaille paul rosenberg (and eventually his son kiki) had a gallery in paris, vichy s took over and stole most of his paintings. he managed to get out w/family to nyc and set up gallery there. he dealt in picasso, braque, marie laurencin, matisse, etc his granddaughter wrote this affecting book about what went down. my 2nd nonfiction book ive read recently originally in french, and both seemed stilted and less than forthcoming. a problem of translation? or a style of france today? The Gardener of Versailles: My Life in the World's Grandest Garden

  24. 4 out of 5

    Allyson

    This book was a very disappointing read but luckily quite small and short. I persevered simply because the subject matter seemed so interesting but her writing and style lacks a basic humility and therefore is a little repellant. She makes many relevant observations but either the translation is poor or her editor cared little for her client as the portrait of her grandfather, family, and self after reading this slight book is not positive. She ends on a cryptic note and so I googled her to disc This book was a very disappointing read but luckily quite small and short. I persevered simply because the subject matter seemed so interesting but her writing and style lacks a basic humility and therefore is a little repellant. She makes many relevant observations but either the translation is poor or her editor cared little for her client as the portrait of her grandfather, family, and self after reading this slight book is not positive. She ends on a cryptic note and so I googled her to discover she was married to Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Not that that is an excuse, but clearly she makes poor choices. I suspect writing this book without more guidance was another poor choice as it could have been so much better .

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jan Polep

    I chose this book thinking that the new movie "Woman in Gold", about the return of a famous painting stolen by the Nazis, was based on it. Nope. Same crime but but different family involving multiple works of art. Written by French journalist Anne Sinclair about her famous grandfather, Paul Rosenberg, a Paris art dealer. Rosenberg was forced to "sell" some of his artworks to the Germans, flee to NYC, lost his French citizenship because he was a Jew, and was robbed of what he had hidden after he I chose this book thinking that the new movie "Woman in Gold", about the return of a famous painting stolen by the Nazis, was based on it. Nope. Same crime but but different family involving multiple works of art. Written by French journalist Anne Sinclair about her famous grandfather, Paul Rosenberg, a Paris art dealer. Rosenberg was forced to "sell" some of his artworks to the Germans, flee to NYC, lost his French citizenship because he was a Jew, and was robbed of what he had hidden after he left France. Aided by tons of family and business correspondence, Sinclair chronicles the rise of "degenerate art", the days of WWII, and the family's continuing efforts to recover their property.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Michael Cunningham

    I really enjoyed this. We learn first of all how this French family came to be named Sinclair, but the book is about the author's grandfather, Paul Rosenberg, the famous art dealer. We learn of his dealings with Matisse, Braque, Leger and above all Picasso and how they left for the States in 1940 and settled there. We learn about the theft of artwork by the Nazis and the Vichy government and of Paul's fight to recover the works that had been stolen. The book is well written, quite short and very I really enjoyed this. We learn first of all how this French family came to be named Sinclair, but the book is about the author's grandfather, Paul Rosenberg, the famous art dealer. We learn of his dealings with Matisse, Braque, Leger and above all Picasso and how they left for the States in 1940 and settled there. We learn about the theft of artwork by the Nazis and the Vichy government and of Paul's fight to recover the works that had been stolen. The book is well written, quite short and very enlightening. Thoroughly recommended.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Writerlibrarian

    Rounded up to 3 stars more like 2.5 stars. Superficial yet interesting for the inside views of the writer who is the grand daughter of Paul Rosenberg. Still, her sources are more important and interesting to track down then her prose. Anne Sinclair's "états d'âmes" do not interest me in the least. Her grand father's letters with Picasso and Matisse they do. She only gives the readers glimpses of them. I guess the inside story will have to wait until someone goes through the archives at MOMA, the Rounded up to 3 stars more like 2.5 stars. Superficial yet interesting for the inside views of the writer who is the grand daughter of Paul Rosenberg. Still, her sources are more important and interesting to track down then her prose. Anne Sinclair's "états d'âmes" do not interest me in the least. Her grand father's letters with Picasso and Matisse they do. She only gives the readers glimpses of them. I guess the inside story will have to wait until someone goes through the archives at MOMA, the Picasso Museum and Pompidou museum.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Claudia

    For an art historian, the book is not only interesting for its information on the personal relationship of Rosenberg to his artists and their works, but also on the circumstances of the theft of art during the occupation of Paris. The book is sometimes a bit difficult to read because it can be hard to keep track of all the family members and other persons mentioned. But in any case it is highly recommended.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Molly

    I have never taken an art history class. Really, I don't know anything about art, but, I am fascinated by art heists, art thefts during WW II and stories with artists (e.g. Gabriel Allon series by Daniel Silva). This book was short, interesting, and once again, I am astounded how the Nazi were so systematic in all that they did, if only had been for the good... I have never taken an art history class. Really, I don't know anything about art, but, I am fascinated by art heists, art thefts during WW II and stories with artists (e.g. Gabriel Allon series by Daniel Silva). This book was short, interesting, and once again, I am astounded how the Nazi were so systematic in all that they did, if only had been for the good...

  30. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    Fascinating book that brings together elements of Lynn Nicholas' fine work, Monuments Men, and visits made to MoMA and the Louvre. Sinclair's family history, entwined as it is with Picasso, Matisse, and two world wars, was filled with revelations. Parallels drawn between the Impressionists and the Cubists was thought-provoking. Thoroughly enjoyed this. Fascinating book that brings together elements of Lynn Nicholas' fine work, Monuments Men, and visits made to MoMA and the Louvre. Sinclair's family history, entwined as it is with Picasso, Matisse, and two world wars, was filled with revelations. Parallels drawn between the Impressionists and the Cubists was thought-provoking. Thoroughly enjoyed this.

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