Don’t miss The Secret History of Art’s exclusive interview with author Amy Tan, featured in a recent How I Write column in The Daily Beast.
The Secret History of Art – Noah Charney on Art Crimes and Art Historical Mysteries
Check out The Secret History of Art’s interview with Michael Connelly, called the greatest living crime writer, for the How I Write series in The Daily Beast.
The Secret History of Art is back after the holidays. I just counted and I wrote 66 articles last year, 62 of which have been published, and that excludes my 52 weekly How I Write interviews. Plus books. This being a writer stuff is a full-time job…
Most of the articles are available here:http://noahcharney.smugmug.com/Essays/Articles
This was a busy week for The Secret History of Art. Saturday night screened a BBC2 documentary that I helped to produce and appeared in (“The World’s Most Expensive Stolen Paintings“). Friday I had a feature in The Guardian about the 1934 theft of the Judges panel from The Ghent Altarpiece. Saturday I had a feature in The Daily Beast that touched upon the Judges panel, but was really about the Nazi Ahnenerbe, their paranormal research division. And last week I had a feature on CNN about the 100th anniversary of the return of the Mona Lisa. In case you missed any, all the links are here.
Saturday the 21st at 9pm UK time, on BBC2, you can catch a documentary film on art theft which both features me as a guest expert, and which I helped put together. Produced by IWC, it is a showcase of friends and colleagues of ARCA (Association for Research into Crimes against Art). I appear in Ghent speaking about the theft of the Judges panel from the Ghent Altarpiece, and I’m also the “art and criminology consultant” on the program. You’ll also see Dick Drent (head of security for the Van Gogh Museum), Dick Ellis (former head of Scotland Yard’s Arts Squad), General Giovanni Pastore (former head of the Carabinieri’s Art Squad), Anthony Amore (security director of the Gardner Museum)–all ARCA trustees and friends, as well as other colleagues. The documentary is very well done and I highly recommend it, if you are either in the UK or you can trick your computer into thinking that you are in the UK (in which case you can watch it live using BBC Player). Happy viewing and happy holidays!
In this month’s print edition of The Art Newspaper, you’ll find a feature on art theft and ARCA, inspired by ARCA’s symposium, held this November at the V&A Museum. The article mentions the dramatic rate of recovery for stolen art (usually estimated at around 2-6% of reported stolen art is recovered), and as little as 1.5% (according to a study by Mark Durney) is both recovered and the criminals successfully prosecuted. Check out the article in the print December edition.
The Secret History of Art Podcast will begin featuring selected audio interviews from the popular weekly How I Write series in The Daily Beast, in which I interview fellow authors about the writing life and tricks of the trade. We begin with my interview with mega-best-selling author Ann Patchett. You can subscribe to The Secret History of Art Podcast for free via iTunes on the computer or directly through your smartphone, iPad or iPod. Interviews with Elizabeth Gilbert, Jared Diamond, David Baldacci, Tracy Chevalier, and many more will follow.
A short article of mine for Flaunt Magazine: on how best to steal art from LACMA
Ghent may be the coolest small city in Europe. It combines an incredible history (for a long while it was the second largest city in Europe, behind Paris), with great art (Van Eyck’s Adoration of the Mystic Lamb is the single most-influential painting in history), kind people (who speak excellent English, making it easy for visitors), charming atmosphere, exotic gothic architecture, and a vibrant, avant-garde youth culture (with 60,000 university students in a city of only around a quarter million). But what surprises many visitors is just how good the food is. Belgium isn’t known for its food, waffles, beer, and moules-frites aside. There are top restaurants, of course (with quite a few Michelin stars), and everyone loves fries, waffles, and beer, but a culinary tour of Belgium doesn’t have quite the same ring as its equivalent in France, Italy or Spain. A trip to Ghent, however, might just change your opinion. I recently spent four days in Ghent, but it’s a city I’ve visited often and come to love. It all began when I was researching a book, a history of Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, one of the most famous paintings in the world, colloquially called The Ghent Altarpiece. It was the first major oil painting, and was hugely influential from the moment it was completed, in 1432. It is also the most-frequently-stolen artwork in history (featuring in the upcoming Monuments Men film). I was also interested in exploring the culinary side of the city and I was not disappointed.
My How I Write interview this week, in The Daily Beast, is with James McBride, fresh off his win of the National Book Award.