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Heart in Art: A Life in Paintings



By: Peter Johnson(Author)

Language: English

Genre: Business, Finance & Law

Publisher: Bene Factum; 1st edition (1 Nov. 2010)

Format: pdf doc docx mobi djvu epub ibooks (*An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.)

The original title of the book: Heart in Art: A Life in Paintings

The fact that picture dealing is in the author's genetic make-up becomes apparent very early in this delightful book. Peter Johnson records 50 years of the international art market and his part in some of the most interesting deals of his generation. Through the doors of Peter's London gallery walked (and subsequently onto the pages of Heart in Art) any number of royalty, dukes, prime ministers, auctioneers, international businessmen, sculptors, European nobility, academics, contemporary artists, and even the wife of a U.S. president--some were buyers, some sellers, and others just popped into his office. Each has a part in Peter's story and each enlivens this book. It is also about the author's life in general and his wide-ranging interests--including architecture, flying, gardens, horses, and music--with many entertaining anecdotes.

Peter Johnson has been a picture dealer for over 50 years. After school and National Service Peter joined the family company and, in 1963, he and his father formed their own business which he eventually sold in 2009. The author continues to deal privately from London and his beloved family home in Cambridgeshire. He is married with two daughters and still travels extensively for both business and pleasure.

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  • By Claire JSR on 4 September 2011

    My new year's resolution this year had been to read more books... I'm happy that 'Heart in Art' has made it into my [so far embarrassingly small] pile of 'books I've read this year'. The biography of sorts is an extraordinary insight into a world many of us generally only glimpse, encompassing a myriad of tales from various parts of the world (mainly London and homes and haunts of the rich and sometimes famous) with colourful characters and unbelievable stories that seem to happen when quality art and wealthy collectors cross paths, told by quite a character himself! The previous reviewer aptly describes the feeling you get, as though 'the author is sitting next to you, glass in hand'.The book itself is a beautifully made hardback, with superior illustrations throughout and an excellent size both to read and enjoy, and also to show off on your coffee table! It also has a handy index, which has come in useful when I've wanted to quote to a friend a story about a member of a Royal family, a work of art, or one of the other many characters that shine and astonish. So many interesting details and the quality of the book itself - and the illustrations - mean that I definitely feel I got my money's worth. The overall impression of the author's adventures serves to remind us that life is only fun if we view the world with a sense of humour, regardless of ups and downs. It is obvious that Johnson has a zest for life, a passion for culture (not just art!), and a love of people from all walks of life.I cannot resist quoting from early in the book to give you a flavour; I hope the publisher will not mind! Johnson describes his first trip to New York, which was by boat and with his father who, when standing on deck and discovering in his pocket the keys to his Knightsbridge art gallery, relieved his concern of losing the keys by promptly throwing them overboard, entrusting their care to the Atlantic. The trip was to collect an English picture, and Johnson describes meeting the owners: 'Joris decided I should help him cut down trees in my suit. Sonya drove me around the city in a car without shock absorbers' and, due to a liquor strike, 'we had to go out into the harbour to drink on board a Swedish boat...'. The return journey involved Johnson's refusal to put the collected English work of art 'in the loo' on the plane journey back to London, after the stewardess proposed the loo as the best storage option!I would recommend Heart in Art to those interested in lifestyles of the rich and famous, the art of art dealing, aristocracy, fine art, the work of English painters, National Museums, Arts heritage, and perhaps predominantly to those interested in real adventures and lives lived. Enjoy!

  • By Roger Howells on 15 July 2011

    I am generally a slow reader, even "the girl with the dragon tattoo" took me two holidays but when I sat down to read "Heart in Heart" I virtually finished it in one go. A month later, I picked it up again and once more, roared through it, enjoying vicariously, Peter's extraordinary life, the people he has met and the adventures experienced because of course, it is not just about art anymore than David Niven's book "the Moon's a Balloon" is just about acting. I was reminded of Niven's book because it was one of the very few others that I was able to read in one go, a marvellous pace and the feeling that the author is sitting next to you, glass in hand, recounting tale after tale. I am sure that this book was great fun to write, as well as read.

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