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Art Lovers Book Club Starting 6th Season

Notorious Art Heist Tales Open Season

Stealing Rembrandts Will Be Up for Discussion on July 16

The AMA Art Lovers Book Club will discuss an absorbing account of the criminal enterprise of art thefts when it opens its 6th season on Tuesday, July 16, at the Albany Museum of Art. The bimonthly book club will explore Stealing Rembrandts: The Untold Stories of Notorious Art Heists when the members gather around the discussion table at 6 pm in the Willson Auditorium.

“Intrigue and fine art go hand-in-hand in our first book club meeting this season,” AMA Director of Education and Public Programming Annie Vanoteghem said. “It’s a spellbinding tale that introduces the reader to an underworld that includes collectors who will break all the rules to acquire artworks they have fallen in love with, and criminal masterminds who don’t mind resorting to violence to supply those works to their obsessive customers.”

In their 2012 book, art security expert Anthony M. Amore and award-winning investigative reporter Tom Mashberg take readers on a journey into the black market of stolen art, which has cost galleries and collectors more than $6 billion in losses.

The authors detail 20th-century thefts of masterpieces by Dutch Golden Age artist Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669), whose works are often targeted by unscrupulous collectors. They chronicle thefts from across the globe, from Stockholm to Boston, and recount the thieves’ daring entries and escapes.

The AMA Art Lovers Book Club is an informal group of art and book lovers who enjoy sharing a bottle of wine and their opinions about the book up for discussion. There is no formal membership and no cost to attend the meetings, which are open to the public.

The AMA does request RSVPs from those who plan to attend so that adequate seating and refreshments are available. Free registration for the July 16 meeting may be found HERE.

For those looking ahead, these are the future meeting dates for the rest of Season 6 and snapshots of the selected titles:

Sept. 17: The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath.

The only novel by writer and poet Sylvia Plath (1932-1963) and originally published in 1963 under a pseudonym, The Bell Jar is regarded as a semi-autobiographical work. The story, first published in the U.S. in 1971, follows Esther Greenwood, who descends into depression as she muses about death, violence, and women’s roles in society in the 1950s. After she tries to harm herself with sleeping pills, she is institutionalized, where she says she feels like she is struggling for breath beneath a bell jar.

Nov. 19: The Life & Art of Athos Menaboni by Barbara C Taylor and Athos Menaboni.

This biography examines the 60-year career of Athos Menaboni (1895-1990), one of the world’s greatest painters and illustrators of bird life. The Italian native immigrated to the U.S. in 1921 and soon settled in Atlanta. He began meticulously painting birds in their natural habitats in the 1930s.

Jan. 21: Chasing Me to My Grave: An Artist’s Memoir of the Jim Crow South by Winfred Rembert.

This 2021 memoir by Winfred Rembert (1945-2021), a Cuthbert, Ga., native who collaborated with philosophy professor Erin I. Kelly, won the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography. Published a year after the artist’s death, the book details his experiences with racism, including imprisonment and an attempted lynching, in the 1950s-60s in Southwest Georgia. Rembert used painting and leather carving in his artwork, which is featured in the biography.

March 18: The Judgment of Paris: The Revolutionary Decade That Gave the World Impressionism by Ross King.

The artistic rivalry between Edouard Manet and Ernest Meissonier in the late 19th century is captured in this 2006 book that casts new light on the birth of Impressionism at a time when modern France was forging its identity.

May 20: The Vanishing Velázquez: A 19th Century Bookseller’s Obsession with a Lost Masterpiece by Laura Cumming.

A portrait of King Charles I when he was still Prince Charles that is misattributed leads 19th-century bookseller John Snare on an arduous journey to prove it was a long-lost painted by Diego Velázquez (1599-1660), the official painter of the Madrid court when the Spanish Empire was near collapse.



The Albany Museum of Art is located at 311 Meadowlark Drive in Albany, Ga., adjacent to Albany State University West Campus just off Gillionville Road. The museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. The Albany Museum of Art is open to the public 10 am-5 pm Tuesdays through Saturdays. Admission is free.

For more information about the AMA please visit our website, or call 229.439.8400. Be sure to follow the Albany Museum of Art on Facebook and Instagram.