An undiscovered painting and the fascinating world of fine art auctions star in this riveting story, based on true accounts and experiences the author had during more than 40 years of attending, bidding and selling at auctions in the United States and Europe. When the story begins in 1939 in Munich, a feared SS officer has stopped at the home of a banker and art collector, who has traded his collection of Impressionist paintings by Monet, Renoir, Degas and others to Reichsmarshall Herman Goering in exchange for safe passage for his children to leave Nazi Germany. Only one painting is left behind – a self-portrait by Vincent Van Gogh.
Fast-forward a few years to spring 1945 in Munich, which Allied bombing has turned into a wasteland. But some treasure remains – U.S. Army sergeant Henry Dryden, looking for weapons, finds and takes the portrait. It lies hidden in his closet for half a century until he asks his grandson to determine if it’s genuine and, if so, to sell it. Park Avenue provides a detailed, thrilling look at the inside world of art auctions even as it tells the ageless story of the search for wealth and luxury. The glittering world of fine art auctions entices rich and powerful men and women, who play for the highest stakes imaginable.
The son of Holocaust survivors who escaped Nazi Germany in 1939, author Michael Zomber earned a master’s degree in English literature from UCLA. He began following the world of art auctions in 1961, when Parke Bernet Galleries sold Rembrandt’s “Aristotle Contemplating the Bust of Homer” to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for a world-record price. His grandfather, Robert Eisner, collected paintings by the Impressionist masters.
For more information, visit www.zomberbooks.com
ISBN: 978-160844-858-6 324 pages $16.95 US
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