Museum Reads: An Art Themed Book Group
Curl up with this month's book selection and then join in the conversation.
October 21, 2021 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm At the Museum and Virtually on Zoom
The Last Leonardo: The Secret Lives of the World’s Most Expensive Painting, by Ben Lewis
Welcome to Museum Reads, the Newport Art Museum’s Art-Themed book group for adults. Join us!
The Last Leonardo tells a thrilling tale of a spellbinding icon invested with the power to make or break the reputations of scholars, billionaires, kings and sheikhs. We learn of the highly secretive art market charted across six centuries with double-crossings and disappearances, in which we’re never quite certain of what to believe. It is an adventure story about the search for lost treasure, and a quest for truth.
Book group this month will meet at the Museum and virtually on Zoom. Be sure to register to receive the Zoom link.
We are delighted that author Ben Lewis will be joining us in discussion from the UK!
About the Author
Ben Lewis is an award-winning, interdisciplinary cultural critic and historian who works in mixed media of books, films and journalism. He is an documentary film-maker, author and art critic, whose books have been published by Harper Collins, Penguin Random House, Weidenfeld and Nicholson, Mondadori, Pegasus, Elephant Press and other publishing houses around the world, and whose films have been commissioned by the BBC, Arte and a long list of broadcasters from Europe, North America and Australia.
Ben studied history and history of art in Cambridge and Berlin. In his twenties he worked at MTV, Djed and briefly ran a record label before working on numerous magazine programmes for the BBC and Channel 4. In 2001 he established his own documentary and film production company, BLTV.
Lewis’ latest book ‘The Last Leonardo: Secret Lives of the World’s Most Expensive Painting’, a history and investigation of the $450m Salvator Mundi painting attributed to Leonardo da Vinci was published by Harper Collins in the UK in April 2019 and by Ballantine, an imprint of Penguin Random House in the US in June 2019.
Lewis has written about art for magazines and newspapers including The Times, The Sunday Telegraph, The Observer, the Financial Times, the London Evening Standard, Prospect Magazine (where he was resident art critic 2004-2010), Die Welt, Monopol and Liberation.
Ben Lewis has made feature documentaries and series on highly topical subjects, which have provoked public debate and influenced political decision-making. ‘The Great Contemporary Art Bubble’ stimulated an international controversy about the fairness of the art market in 2009, while ‘Blowing Up Paradise: French Nuclear Testing in the Pacific” (2004) is credited with influencing the French government’s decision to compensate its soldiers and citizens who suffered illnesses after working for on atomic installations in Tahiti.
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