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Treasure palaces : great writers visit great museums / foreword by Nicholas Serota ; edited by Maggie Fergusson.

Contributor(s): Fergusson, Maggie [editor.] | Serota, Nicholas [editor.].
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: London Economist Books 2016Description: xiv, 221 pages : illustration ; 23 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9781781256909.Subject(s): Art appreciation | Museums -- History | Art museums | Art criticism -- History | Literary landmarks | EssaysDDC classification: 701.18 Summary: Who doesn't love a good museum? They have long been sources of inspiration to the most creative among us. This book brings together over twenty of the world's greatest writers to give their own personal tours of the museums that have awed, haunted and inspired them. The result is a fascinating look into the world of literature and museums. Explore the Villa San Michele on the sunny island of Capri with Ali Smith, as she delves into the life of its eccentric founder. Step off the busy roads of Paris with Jacqueline Wilson, as she dives into the uncanny world of the Musee de la Poupee. Discover an Egyptian temple in the heart of Copenhagen with Alan Hollinghurst, and the mystery of Sibelius's silence in Helsinki with Julian Barnes. Travelling all over the world, from Oxford to New York, Zagreb to Kabul, and exploring a range of museums, from the ABBA Museum to the Museum of Broken Relationships, the essays in this collection will leave you inspired, longing to revisit your favourite treasure palace or itching to find a new one to explore.
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

From Julian Barnes and Andrew O'Hagan to Ann Patchett and Tim Winton, great writers give us personal tours of the museums they treasure.

Who doesn't love a good museum? They have long been sources of inspiration to the most creative among us. This book brings together over twenty of the world's greatest writers to give their own personal tours of the museums that have awed, haunted and inspired them. The result is a fascinating look into the world of literature and museums. Explore the Villa San Michele on the sunny island of Capri with Ali Smith, as she delves into the life of its eccentric founder. Step off the busy roads of Paris with Jacqueline Wilson, as she dives into the uncanny world of the Musee de la Poupee. Discover an Egyptian temple in the heart of Copenhagen with Alan Hollinghurst, and the mystery of Sibelius's silence in Helsinki with Julian Barnes. Travelling all over the world, from Oxford to New York, Zagreb to Kabul, and exploring a range of museums, from the ABBA Museum to the Museum of Broken Relationships, the essays in this collection will leave you inspired, longing to revisit your favourite treasure palace or itching to find a new one to explore.

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Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

In this slim volume, 23 novelists and journalists recount their rambles through museums large and small, foreign and familiar. Commissioned by editor Fergusson and originator Tim de Lisle for the Economist's lifestyle magazine series "Authors on Museums," these accounts are less about the history and scholarly prestige of particular museums than why authors love, remember, and revisit them. The writers reflect upon a wide range of institutions and objects with humor and insight, including Julian Barnes on Ainola, composer Jean Sibelius's home-turned-museum; Margaret Drabble on the Museo dell'Opificio delle Pietre Dure; Don Paterson on the Frick Collection; Roddy Doyle on the Lower East Side Tenement Museum; Ann Patchett on the Harvard Museum of Natural History; and Matthew Sweet on ABBA: The Museum. VERDICT This absorbingly readable collection lets us peek over authors' shoulders into cabinets of curiosities around the world where exhibit cases become time machines and objects become stories. For museum lovers and skeptics alike.-Lindsay King, Yale Univ. Libs., New Haven, CT © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Review

This compilation of 23 articles originally written for the Authors on Museums series in the lifestyle magazine 1843 (formerly known as Intelligent Life) takes readers on an entertaining and idiosyncratic tour of obscure museums that have inspired and challenged famous authors throughout their lives. Julian Barnes, Alan Hollinghurst, Ann Patchett, Ali Smith, and others give thoughtful personal recollections of visiting eclectic galleries such as the Museum of Heartbreak, the Harvard Museum of Natural History, and Paris's Musée Rodin. Nicholas Serota, director of the Tate Museum in London, notes in his foreword that "the most rewarding museum visit is one which involves communion between the viewer and a single object"; the authors' essays reveal connections not only with art and artifacts but with other museum visitors. Roddy Doyle communes with American immigrants at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum in N.Y.C.; Frank Cottrell Boyce examines shrunken heads at the Pitts River Museum in Oxford, England; Michael Morpurgo writes about the ghosts of WWI at the Flanders Fields Museum in Ypres, Belgium; and Claire Messud feels at home at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. The collection takes an intimate look both at the writers and the museums themselves, providing deep insights into how artists connect with the world around them. (Nov.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Booklist Review

Intelligent Life, a sister magazine of The Economist, launched a series, Authors on Museums, in 2008, inviting writers to revisit and reflect on a museum that evoked a powerful personal memory. Fergusson, who now edits the feature, has compiled this selection of 23 of its best pieces. Among the notable contributors are Ann Patchett, Neil Gaiman, Claire Messud, Julian Barnes, Roddy Doyle, and Margaret Drabble. Among the museums written about are large and famous institutions, including the Frick Collection, the Prado, and Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, as well as such smaller ones as the Musée de la Poupée and the Musée Rodin in Paris and the Lower East Side Tenement Museum in New York. Others defy categorization, like the Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb and Stockholm's ABBA The Museum. One especially poignant account is Cool under Fire, in which Rory Stewart writes about the National Museum of Afghanistan in Kabul. Armchair and would-be travelers will appreciate the addresses and web sites included with each essay, and anyone who appreciates fine writing will treasure this literary memory palace.--Mulac, Carolyn Copyright 2016 Booklist