- STAFF PICKS
- GIFTS + GIFT CARDS
- SELL BOOKS
- FIND A STORE
This item may be
Check for Availability
Pictures at an Exhibitionby Sara Houghteling
Synopses & Reviews
Set in a Paris darkened by World War II, Sara Houghteling’s sweeping and sensuous debut novel tells the story of a son’s quest to recover his family’s lost masterpieces, looted by the Nazis during the occupation.
Born to an art dealer and his pianist wife, Max Berenzon is forbidden from entering the family business for reasons he cannot understand. He reluctantly attends medical school, reserving his true passion for his father’s beautiful and brilliant gallery assistant, Rose Clément. When Paris falls to the Nazis, the Berenzons survive in hiding. They return in 1944 to find that their priceless collection has vanished: gone are the Matisses, the Picassos, and a singular Manet of mysterious importance. Madly driven to recover his father’s paintings, Max navigates a torn city of corrupt art dealers, black marketers, Résistants, and collaborators. His quest will reveal the tragic disappearance of his closest friend, the heroism of his lost love, and the truth behind a devastating family secret.
Written with tense drama and a historian’s eye for detail, Houghteling’s novel draws on the real-life stories of France’s preeminent art-dealing familes and the forgotten biography of the only French woman to work as a double agent inside the Nazis’ looted art stronghold. Pictures at an Exhibition conjures the vanished collections, the lives of the artists and their dealers, the exquisite romance, and the shattering loss of a singular era. It is a work of astonishing ambition and beauty from an immensely gifted new novelist.
Set in a Paris darkened by World War II, Houghteling's sensuous and bracing debut novel tells the story of a son's quest to recover his family's lost masterpieces, looted by the Nazis during the occupation.
A sweeping and sensuous novel of a son's quest to recover his family's lost masterpieces, looted by the Nazis during the occupation.
Max Berenzon's fatheris the most successful art dealer in Paris, owner of the Berenzon Gallery, home to both Picasso and Matisse. To Max's great surprise, his father forbids him from entering the family business, choosing instead tohire a beautiful and brilliant gallery assistant named Rose Clement. When Paris falls to the Nazis, the Berenzons survive in hiding, but when they return in 1944 their gallery is empty, their pricelesscollection vanished. In a city darkened by corruption and black martketers, Max chases his twin obsessions: the lost paintings and Rose Clement.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
About the Author
Sara Houghteling is a graduate of Harvard College and received her master’s in fine arts from the University of Michigan. She is the recipient of a Fulbright scholarship to Paris, first place in the Avery and Jules Hopwood Awards, and a John Steinbeck Fellowship. She lives in California, where she teaches high school English.
What Our Readers Are Saying