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Modern (Late 19th Century to 1945)

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  1. 2.5 hrs • 4/23/2015 • Unabridged

    These two unabridged chapters from Charles Mackay’s two-volume evergreen work, Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds (1841) deal with the disastrous South Sea Bubble and the extraordinary outbreak of Tulipomania in Holland. The South Sea Company, a British joint stock company founded in 1711, was granted a monopoly to trade in Spain’s South American colonies. In return, the company took on the national debt of England. Speculation in the company’s stock led to a great economic bubble known as the South Sea Bubble in 1720, which caused financial ruin for many, including the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr. Aislabie. Mackay describes this exciting period with great relish and in considerable detail. Tulipomania was an equally bizarre and tragicomic period in Dutch history when almost the whole population began trading and speculating in tulip bulbs, leading to the financial ruin of thousands. At the height of tulip mania, in 1637, a single tulip bulb might sell for more than ten times the annual income of a skilled craftsman. It is often considered the first recorded economic bubble. For those interested in contemporary finance, economics or social history these incidents are sure to delight and horrify in equal measure. Also included is Mackay’s amusing chapter on the passing fashions in slang in London.

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  2. 12.8 hrs • 4/21/2015 • Unabridged

    A lively and deeply researched group biography of the figures who transformed the world of art in bohemian Paris in the first decade of the twentieth century In Montmartre is a colorful history of the birth of modernist art as it arose from one of the most astonishing collections of artistic talent ever assembled. It begins in October 1900, as a teenage Pablo Picasso, eager for fame and fortune, first makes his way up the hillside of Paris’s famous windmill-topped district. Over the next decade, among the studios, salons, cafés, dance halls, and galleries of Montmartre, the young Spaniard joins the likes of Henri Matisse, André Derain, Maurice de Vlaminck, Georges Braque, Amedeo Modigliani, Constantin Brancusi, Gertrude Stein, and many more, in revolutionizing artistic expression. Sue Roe has blended exceptional scholarship with graceful prose to write this remarkable group portrait of the men and women who profoundly changed the arts of painting, sculpture, dance, music, literature, and fashion. She describes the origins of movements like Fauvism, Cubism, and Futurism, and reconstructs the stories behind immortal paintings by Picasso and Matisse. Relating the colorful lives and complicated relationships of this dramatic bohemian scene, Roe illuminates the excitement of the moment when these bold experiments in artistic representation and performance began to take shape.  A thrilling account, In Montmartre captures an extraordinary group on the cusp of fame and immortality. Through their stories, Roe brings to life one of the key moments in the history of art.

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    In Montmartre

    Read by Emma Bering
    12.8 hrs • 4/21/15 • Unabridged
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  3. 1 reviews 0 5 3 3 out of 5 stars 3/5 (1)
    9.5 hrs • 9/9/2014 • Unabridged

    The unbelievable true story of artist Thomas Kinkade, self-described “Painter of Light,” and the dramatic rise—and fall—of his billion-dollar gallery and licensing business He was just one man, but Thomas Kinkade ultimately made more money from his art than every other artist in the history of the world combined. His sentimental paintings of babbling brooks, rural churches surrounded by brilliant fall foliage, and idyllic countryside cottages were so popular in the 1990s that it is estimated that one out of every twenty homes in America owned one of his prints. With the help of two partners—a former vacuum-cleaner salesman and an ambitious junior accountant who fancied himself a businessman—Kinkade turned his art into a billion-dollar gallery and licensing business that traded on the New York Stock Exchange before it collapsed in 2006 amid fraud accusations. One part fascinating business story about the rise and demise of a financial empire born out of divine inspiration, one part dramatic biography, Billion Dollar Painter is the account of three nobodies who made it big. One was a man who, despite being a devout Christian who believed his artwork was a spiritual force that could cure the sick and comfort the poor in spirit, could not save his art empire—or himself. G. Eric Kuskey, former colleague of Thomas Kinkade and close friend until the artist’s death in 2012, tells Kinkade’s story for the first time, from his art’s humble beginnings on a sidewalk in Carmel, California, to his five-house compound in Monte Sereno. It’s a tale of addiction and grief, of losing control, and ultimately, of the price of our dreams.

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    Billion Dollar Painter by G. Eric Kuskey

    Billion Dollar Painter

    By G. Eric Kuskey, with Bettina Gilois
    Read by Jim Meskimen
    9.5 hrs • 9/9/14 • Unabridged
    1 reviews 0 5 3 3 out of 5 stars 3/5 (1)
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  4. 0 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5
    6.6 hrs • 7/29/2014 • Unabridged

    An eye-opening adventure deep inside the everyday materials that surround us, packed with surprising stories and fascinating science Why is glass see-through? What makes elastic stretchy? Why does a paper clip bend? Why does any material look and behave the way it does? These are the sorts of questions that Mark Miodownik is constantly asking himself. A globally-renowned materials scientist, Miodownik has spent his life exploring objects as ordinary as an envelope and as unexpected as concrete cloth, uncovering the fascinating secrets that hold together our physical world. In Stuff Matters, Miodownik entertainingly examines the materials he encounters in a typical morning, from the steel in his razor and the graphite in his pencil to the foam in his sneakers and the concrete in a nearby skyscraper. He offers a compendium of the most astounding histories and marvelous scientific breakthroughs in the material world, including the imprisoned alchemist who saved himself from execution by creating the first European porcelain;the hidden gem of the Milky Way, a planet five times the size of Earth, made entirely of diamond; andgraphene, the thinnest, strongest, stiffest material in existence—only a single atom thick—that could be used to make entire buildings sensitive to touch. From the teacup to the jet engine, the silicon chip to the paper clip, the plastic in our appliances to the elastic in our underpants, our lives are overflowing with materials. Full of enthralling tales of the miracles of engineering that permeate our lives, Stuff Matters will make you see stuff in a whole new way.

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    Stuff Matters

    6.6 hrs • 7/29/14 • Unabridged
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  5. 10.8 hrs • 12/24/2012 • Unabridged

    The Lady in Gold, considered an unforgettable masterpiece, one of the twentieth century’s most recognizable paintings, made headlines all over the world when Ronald Lauder bought it for $135 million a century after Klimt, the most famous Austrian painter of his time, completed the society portrait. Anne-Marie O’Connor, writer for the Washington Post, formerly of the Los Angeles Times, tells the galvanizing story of The Lady in Gold, Adele Bloch-Bauer, a dazzling Viennese Jewish society figure; daughter of the head of one of the largest banks in the Hapsburg Empire, head of the Oriental Railway, whose Orient Express went from Berlin to Constantinople; wife of Ferdinand Bauer, sugar-beet baron. The Bloch-Bauers were art patrons, and Adele herself was considered a rebel of fin de siècle Vienna (she wanted to be educated, a notion considered “degenerate” in a society that believed women being out in the world went against their “feminine nature”). The author describes how Adele inspired the portrait and how Klimt made more than a hundred sketches of her—simple pencil drawings on thin manila paper. And O’Connor writes of Klimt himself, son of a failed gold engraver, shunned by arts bureaucrats, called an artistic heretic in his time, a genius in ours. She writes of the Nazis confiscating the portrait of Adele from the Bloch-Bauers’ grand palais; of the Austrian government putting the painting on display, stripping Adele’s Jewish surname from it so that no clues to her identity (nor any hint of her Jewish origins) would be revealed. Nazi officials called the painting “the Lady in Gold” and proudly exhibited it in Vienna’s Baroque Belvedere Palace, consecrated in the 1930s as a Nazi institution. The author writes of the painting, inspired by the Byzantine mosaics Klimt had studied in Italy, with their exotic symbols and swirls, the subject an idol in a golden shrine. We see how, sixty years after it was stolen by the Nazis, the Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer became the subject of a decade-long litigation between the Austrian government and the Bloch-Bauer heirs, how and why the US Supreme Court became involved in the case, and how the Court’s decision had profound ramifications in the art world. In this book listeners will find riveting social history, an illuminating and haunting look at turn-of-the-century Vienna, a brilliant portrait of the evolution of a painter, a masterfully told tale of suspense. And at the heart of it, The Lady in Gold—the shimmering painting, and its equally irresistible subject, the fate of each forever intertwined.

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    The Lady in Gold

    10.8 hrs • 12/24/12 • Unabridged
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  6. 0.7 hrs • 11/8/2012 • Unabridged

    What is modern art? Why do we either love it or loathe it? And why is it worth so much damn money? Join Will Gompertz, the BBC arts editor, and probably the world’s first art-history stand-up comedian, on a dazzling audio tour that will change the way you think about modern art forever.  In the tenth of this twenty-part course, discover how, for all the importance of the Russian Revolution, it was their artists who actually changed the world and came up with the cool abstraction which we still enjoy today. And if you want to examine the images in question, just follow the links mentioned in the audio.  Suprematism, Constructivism is part of a downloadable audiobook series taken from the book What Are You Looking At?: 150 Years of Modern Art in the Blink of an Eye. You can take the whole course, or pick and choose which movement suits you. Whether you are a sceptic or an art lover, this funny, lively, and accessible course on modern art is bound to make your next gallery or museum visit a little less intimidating and a lot more interesting.

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  7. 0.5 hrs • 11/1/2012 • Unabridged

    What is modern art? Why do we either love it or loathe it? And why is it worth so much damn money? Join Will Gompertz, the BBC arts editor, and probably the world’s first art-history stand-up comedian, on a dazzling audio tour that will change the way you think about modern art forever.  In the ninth of this twenty-part course, take the first step on the long road towards total abstraction, as artists of all kinds attempted to unify their visions into a blueprint for a better world. And if you want to examine the images in question, just follow the links mentioned in the audio.  Kandinsky, Orphism, Blue Rider is part of a downloadable audiobook series taken from the book What Are You Looking At?: 150 Years of Modern Art in the Blink of an Eye. You can take the whole course or pick and choose which movement suits you. Whether you are a sceptic or an art lover, this funny, lively, and accessible course on modern art is bound to make your next gallery or museum visit a little less intimidating and a lot more interesting.

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  8. 0.4 hrs • 10/25/2012 • Unabridged

    What is modern art? Why do we either love it or loathe it? And why is it worth so much damn money? Join Will Gompertz, the BBC arts editor, and probably the world’s first art-history stand-up comedian, on a dazzling audio tour that will change the way you think about modern art forever.  In the eighth of this twenty-part course, the West is in ferment and turmoil as the Great War approaches. Artistic movements of the time reflected both the terror and hope of a world in flux. And if you want to examine the images in question, just follow the links mentioned in the audio.  Futurism is part of a downloadable audiobook series taken from the book What Are You Looking At?: 150 Years of Modern Art in the Blink of an Eye. You can take the whole course or pick and choose which movement suits you. Whether you are a sceptic or an art lover, this funny, lively, and accessible course on modern art is bound to make your next gallery or museum visit a little less intimidating and a lot more interesting.

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  9. 0.6 hrs • 10/18/2012 • Unabridged

    What is modern art? Why do we either love it or loathe it? And why is it worth so much damn money? Join Will Gompertz, the BBC Arts Editor, and probably the world’s first art history stand-up comedian, on a dazzling audio tour that will change the way you think about modern art forever. In the seventh of this twenty-part course, you can discover just how wrong you were about Cubists. They didn’t paint cubes, for a start. But they did change the way we look at objects and the way artists represent them. Cubism is part of a downloadable audiobook series taken from the book What Are You Looking At?: 150 Years of Modern Art in the Blink of an Eye. Whether you are a skeptic or an art lover, this funny, lively and accessible course on modern art is bound to make your next gallery or museum visit a little less intimidating, and a lot more interesting.

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  10. 0.9 hrs • 10/11/2012 • Unabridged

    What is modern art? Why do we either love it or loathe it? And why is it worth so much damn money? Join Will Gompertz, the BBC Arts Editor, and probably the world’s first art-history stand-up comedian, on a dazzling audio tour that will change the way you think about modern art forever. In the sixth of this twenty-part course, find out how if you want to be really now, really modern, really ahead of the game, you need to go backwards. Primitivism and Fauvism re-coloured and recalibrated early twentieth century art, taking inspiration from the most ancient sources they could find. Primitivism/Fauvism is part of a downloadable audiobook series taken from the book What Are You Looking At?: 150 Years of Modern Art in the Blink of an Eye. Whether you are a skeptic or an art lover, this funny, lively and accessible course on modern art is bound to make your next gallery or museum visit a little less intimidating, and a lot more interesting.

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  11. 0.5 hrs • 10/4/2012 • Unabridged

    What is modern art? Why do we either love it or loathe it? And why is it worth so much damn money? Join Will Gompertz, the BBC Arts Editor, and probably the world’s first art history stand-up comedian, on a dazzling audio tour that will change the way you think about modern art forever. In the fifth installment of this twenty-part course, one man discovers the nineteenth century equivalent of 3-D HD: Cézanne becomes the first person to paint using two eyes, completely reinventing perspective, and thus affecting pretty much every picture you’ve seen since. Cézanne is part of a downloadable audiobook series taken from the book What Are You Looking At?: 150 Years of Modern Art in the Blink of an Eye. You can take the whole course, or pick and choose which movement suits you. Whether you are a sceptic or an art lover, this funny, lively and accessible course on modern art is bound to make your next gallery or museum visit a little less intimidating, and a lot more interesting.

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  12. 1.0 hrs • 9/27/2012 • Unabridged

    What is modern art? Why do we either love it or loathe it? And why is it worth so much damn money? Join Will Gompertz, the BBC Arts Editor and probably the world’s first art history stand-up comedian, on a dazzling audio tour that will change the way you think about modern art forever. In the fourth of this twenty-part course, you can discover how three great artists, van Gogh, Gaugin, and Seurat, changed the look of modern art with radical reimagining of colour, line, and subject matter. And find out which one of them were an arrogant self-publicising dandy, bully, and a syphilitic schemer. Post-Impressionism is part of a downloadable audiobook series taken from the book What Are You Looking At?: 150 Years of Modern Art in the Blink of an Eye. Whether you are a sceptic or an art lover, this funny, lively and accessible course on modern art is bound to make your next gallery or museum visit a little less intimidating, and a lot more interesting.

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  13. 0.7 hrs • 9/20/2012 • Unabridged

    What is modern art? Why do we either love it or loathe it? And why is it worth so much damn money? Join Will Gompertz, the BBC Arts Editor, and probably the world’s first art history stand-up comedian, on a dazzling audio tour that will change the way you think about modern art forever. In the third of this twenty-part course, a group of young artists are given a name—the Impressionists; and they’re not happy about it. Bringing spontaneity and realism to their paintings of industrial Europe, they draw influences from as far away as Japan, and as their works become popular in America, they become the art of the modern world. The Impressionists is part of a downloadable audiobook series taken from the book What Are You Looking At?: 150 Years of Modern Art in the Blink of an Eye. Whether you are a sceptic or an art lover, this funny, lively and accessible course on modern art is bound to make your next gallery or museum visit a little less intimidating, and a lot more interesting.

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  14. 0.7 hrs • 9/13/2012 • Unabridged

    What is modern art? Why do we either love it or loathe it? And why is it worth so much damn money? Join Will Gompertz, the BBC Arts Editor, and probably the world’s first art history stand-up comedian, on a dazzling audio tour that will change the way you think about modern art forever. In the second of this twenty-part course, you can find out how the classically inclined establishment and the new democratic realists clashed; and how the pictures that now adorn your biscuit tins and tea-towels are deeply subversive. Hear the stories behind the banned pictures now regarded as masterpieces. The Pre-Impressionists is part of a downloadable audiobook series taken from the book What Are You Looking At?: 150 Years of Modern Art in the Blink of an Eye. Whether you are a sceptic or an art lover, this funny, lively, and accessible course on modern art is bound to make your next gallery or museum visit a little less intimidating and a lot more interesting.

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  15. 0.3 hrs • 9/6/2012 • Unabridged

    What is modern art? Why do we either love it or loathe it? And why is it worth so much damn money? Join Will Gompertz, the BBC arts editor, and probably the world’s first art-history stand-up comedian, on a dazzling audio tour that will change the way you think about modern art forever.  In this twenty-part course, each episode will explain a different modern art movement in under an hour. In A Urinal As Art, the first of the series, you will learn that not all conceptual art is rubbish and that a porcelain pissoir revolutionized the art world in 1917. With Gompertz as your trusty guide, you will discover the story behind a masterpiece, and if you want to see an image of the artwork, just follow one of the links suggested.  A Urinal As Art is part of a downloadable audiobook series taken from the book What Are You Looking At?: 150 Years of Modern Art in the Blink of an Eye. You can take the whole course or pick and choose which movement suits you. Whether you are a sceptic or an art lover, this funny, lively, and accessible course on modern art is bound to make your next gallery or museum visit a little less intimidating and a lot more interesting.

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  16. 2.1 hrs • 7/25/2012 • Unabridged

    No one skewers the popular movements of American culture like Tom Wolfe. In 1975, he turned his satirical pen to the pretensions of the contemporary art world, a world of social climbing, elitist posturing, and ingeniously absurd self-justifying theorizing. He addresses the scope of Modern Art, from its founding days as Abstract Expressionism through its transformations to Pop, Op, Minimal, and Conceptual. In the process he debunks the great American myth of Modern Art in an incandescent, hilarious, and devastating blast. Wolfe’s style has never been more dazzling, and his wit never more keen.

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    The Painted Word

    2.1 hrs • 7/25/12 • Unabridged
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