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Hardcover The Art of Acquiring: A Portrait of Etta & Claribel Cone Book

ISBN: 1890862061

ISBN13: 9781890862060

The Art of Acquiring: A Portrait of Etta & Claribel Cone

"For four and a half decades, Etta and Claribel Cone roamed artists' studios and art galleries in Europe, building one of the largest, most important art collections in the world. At one time, these two independently wealthy Jewish women from Baltimore received offers from virtually every prominent art museum in the world, all anxious to house their hitherto private assemblage of modern art. In 1949, they awarded all their holdings to the Baltimore...


Format: Hardcover

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Customer Reviews

5 ratings


Live in Baltimore so have visited the Cone Collection many times. This book has given me a new appreciation for these women and how ahead of their times they were. Will view the collection again with new eyes understanding how the collection came to be and how choices were made. This book is so well written---enjoy!

Cone Heads

Dr. Cone and her sister, Etta, amassed one of the best art collections in American history. How and when they did this is the tale contained in this nice effort by Mary Gabriel. Those interested in European art as created in the early part of the last century, by such people as Picasso and above all Matisse, will be interested in buying this book, as well as those who just want a slice of cultural history of the period. (And if you have a keen interest in Gertrude Stein, you will also want to read this rewarding, yet stylistically simple, work.) I have visited the Cone Collection at the Baltimore Museum of Art and urge all interested in great art to make the same pilgrimage.

Excellent historical read!

This is a great and fascinating read. If you like history, art and eccentric people this will really please you. It is a slice of Americana and art history we never read...those who are art collectors and actually make artists famous. The women in this story were Victorian and liberated all in the same breath. Very fun!

Fascinating women fascinating story

I happened upon this book quite by accident but was intrigued just from reading the book jacket and it did not disappoint. The story read like a novel yet it was meticulously researched. The Cone sisters were visionary collectors who supported Matisse, Picasso, Cezanne and others by purchasing their work when the rest of the snooty art world shunned it and tagged it obscene. These extraordinary women led unconventional lives, befriended artists and authors (Gertrude Stein among them) along the way and definitely marched to their own drums. And lucky for the Baltimore Art Museum that they did since their collection was estimated to be worth about $1 billion. No book has ever made me want to visit Baltimore before but I plan to go there to see the Cone Collection.

A work of art!

Pay no attention to the ho-hum title -- this is one delightful read. The book illuminates two sisters who had been virtually written out of art history. The author richly embroiders the travels of Claribel and Etta Cone and details how they came to amass one of the world's more comprehsive collections of 20th century art. This painstakingly and lovingly researched book is a masterpiece!
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