Albany Museum of Art Book Club Names Book Selections for 2022-23 Season

Staff Report

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2022

It’s time to restock your bookshelf! The AMA Art Lovers Book Club has announced the six books that members will discuss during the fourth season of the Albany Museum of Art book club meetings. 

“I am very excited about this season's selections,” Annie Vanoteghem, director of education and public programming for the AMA, said. “This is a chance to discover a new read that you may have never heard of or thought to pick up. The discussions are sure to be lively and stimulating to encourage us all to expand our knowledge or appreciation of the art world.” 

The AMA Book Lovers Club meets at 6 pm on the third Tuesday of alternating months in the Willson Auditorium at the AMA, 311 Meadowlark Drive. There is no formal membership, and anyone is welcome to drop in and join the discussion with fellow art and book enthusiasts over a glass of wine or other favorite beverages. The club meets in the months of July, September, November, January, March, and May. 

“Good art, a good book, a good wine, and good company,” Vanoteghem said. “Together, they make for a relaxing, enjoyable, and engaging evening.”

Club members selected these titles for Season 4, which opens on July 19.

July 19: Provenance: How a Con Man and a Forger Rewrote the History of Modern Art.

Investigative reporters Laney Salisbury and Aly Sujo give a thrilling, high-octane narrative to one of the most extraordinary cons in the history of art forgery, one that stretched from Paris to London to New York City. They tell the tale of John Drewe, a memorable villain, and artist John Myatt, his accomplice, who exploited the archives of British art institutions to irrevocably legitimize the hundreds of pieces they forged. Many of those works are still considered genuine and are in prominent museums and private collections.

Sept 20: William H. Johnson: Truth Be Told.

Steve Turner tells the story of William H. Johnson (1901-70), an African American from South Carolina who moved to New York and Europe, where he became a successful artist. to light. Johnson moved to the Big Apple as a teenager to lie with his uncle, and worked as a cook, stevedore and porter. He earned to the School of the National Academy of Design, where he won almost every student prize available. He moved to Europe permanently after marrying Danish textile artist Holcha Krake and enjoyed wide success as an artist until the outbreak of World War II forced the couple to relocate to New York. When his wife died, his own mental and physical health collapsed and he quit painting in 1947. Turner traces the fate of Johnson's huge body of work, which was managed for him by court-appointed guardians and the Harmon Foundation.

Nov 15: Hidden in the Shadow of the Master: The Model-Wives of Cézanne, Monet, and Rodin.

Art historian Ruth Butler, through extensive research, gives dimension to the wives of Paul Cézanne, Claude Monet, and Auguste Rodin, three of the most famous French artists of their generation. In her words, Butler paints portraits of Hortense Fiquet, Camille Doncieux, and Rose Beuret, spouses of Cézanne, Monet, and Rodin, respectively. Each woman was first a model for her future husband. In exploring the lives of the wives, Butler offers new insight into how the women enriched the quality of their respective husbands’ work. 

Jan 17: In the Full Light of the Sun.

Novelist Claire Clark imagines the true story of a trio of Berliners who are caught up in a national art scandal during the Nazis’ rise to power. Berlin was starkly divided between the ultrawealthy and the impoverished, and Germany was heading down the path to a second world war following its humiliating defeat in the Great War in the 1920s. That was when a young art student, an art expert and a mysterious art dealer combine to make a stunning discovery that rocks the already turbulent nation—32 unknown artworks by the famed Vincent van Gogh. 

March 21: Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water 'Fore I Diiie.

Beloved author Maya Angelou demonstrates her zest for life and her rage against injustice in this marvelous collection of poems that explore love and regret, racial strife and confrontation, songs of the people, and songs of the heart.


May 16: Love in the Time of Cholera.

Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel García Márquez’s 1985 novel follows the lives of passionate young lovers Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza. Ariza is devastated when Daza chooses instead to marry a wealthy doctor. Ariza pines for her for over half a century as he rises in business and goes through hundreds unfulfilling affairs. The death of her husband gives the now elderly Ariza one final chance to declare his love for Daza.

Information about the AMA Art Lovers Book Club may be found at