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Event Category: Book Discussions

“Metropolitan Stories” by Christine Coulson

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts 314 S Park St, Kalamazoo, MI, United States

This enchanting novel, from a writer who worked at the Metropolitan Museum for more than twenty-five years, shows us the Met that the public doesn’t see. A surreal love letter to this private side of the museum, Metropolitan Stories unfolds in a series of amusing and poignant vignettes in which we discover larger-than-life characters, the…

“Fierce Poise: Helen Frankenthaler and 1950s New York” by Alexander Nemerov

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts 314 S Park St, Kalamazoo, MI, United States

At the dawn of the 1950s, a promising young painter named Helen Frankenthaler, fresh out of college, moved to New York City. By the decade's end, she had succeeded in establishing herself as an important American artist of the postwar period. In the years in between, she made some of the most daring, head-turning paintings…

The Personal Librarian

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts 314 S Park St, Kalamazoo, MI, United States

by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray In her twenties, Belle da Costa Greene is hired by J. P. Morgan to curate a collection of rare manuscripts, books, and artwork for his newly built Pierpont Morgan Library. Belle becomes a fixture on the New York society scene and one of the most powerful people in…

Horse

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts 314 S Park St, Kalamazoo, MI, United States

by Geraldine Brooks A discarded painting in a junk pile, a skeleton in an attic, and the greatest racehorse in American history: from these strands, a Pulitzer Prize winner braids a sweeping story of spirit, obsession, and injustice across American history Kentucky, 1850. An enslaved groom named Jarret and a bay foal forge a bond…

The Cat Who Saved Books

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts 314 S Park St, Kalamazoo, MI, United States

by Sōsuke Natsukawa Natsuki Books was a tiny second-hand bookshop on the edge of town. Inside, towering shelves reached the ceiling, every one crammed full of wonderful books. Rintaro Natsuki loved this space that his grandfather had created. He spent many happy hours there, reading whatever he liked. It was the perfect refuge for a…

Book Discussion: Warrior Girl Unearthed

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts 314 S Park St, Kalamazoo, MI, United States

Perry Firekeeper-Birch has always known who she is — the laidback twin, the troublemaker, the best fisher on Sugar Island. Her aspirations won’t ever take her far from home, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. But as the rising number of missing Indigenous women starts circling closer to home, as her family becomes…

Book Discussion: The Trackers

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts 314 S Park St, Kalamazoo, MI, United States

Hurtling past the downtrodden communities of Depression-era America, painter Val Welch travels westward to the rural town of Dawes, Wyoming. Through a stroke of luck, he’s landed a New Deal assignment to create a mural representing the region for their new Post Office. A wealthy art lover named John Long and his wife Eve have…

Book Discussion: Nothing Special

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts 314 S Park St, Kalamazoo, MI, United States

New York City, 1966. Seventeen-year-old Mae lives in a rundown apartment with her alcoholic mother and her mother’s sometimes-boyfriend, Mikey. She is turned off by the petty girls at her high school, and the sleazy, type men that she typically meets. When she drops out, she is presented with a job offer that will remake…

Book Discussion: The Cloisters

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts 314 S Park St, Kalamazoo, MI, United States

Following a heartbreaking loss, Ann Stilwell leaves her small town in Washington state for New York City and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Spending her summer in the gothic museum and garden known as The Cloisters, Ann is intrigued by the curiosities of the people she meets who occupy this unusual space. From the curator…

Book Discussion: The Art Thief

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts 314 S Park St, Kalamazoo, MI, United States

A heist story like no other, The Art Thief by Michael Finkel tells the true story of Stéphane Breitwieser, who steals an array of mostly Baroque and Renaissance works of art not for financial gain but to admire and possess each piece.  From 1994 to 2001, Breitwieser, along with the help of his girlfriend Anne-Catherine…

Book Discussion: The Gown

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts 314 S Park St, Kalamazoo, MI, United States

Royal wedding gowns have long been the subject of much speculation, awe, and criticism. The gown that Princess Elizabeth was to wear for her wedding to Phillip Mountbatten was no exception. Robson weaves together the story of two women who work together in the famed fashion house of Norman Hartnell to create the delicate embroidery…

Book Discussion: Cup of Light

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts 314 S Park St, Kalamazoo, MI, United States

by Nicole Mones American appraiser Lia Frank must trust her instincts and memory when it comes to her latest task of authenticating a vast array of Chinese porcelain pieces in Beijing, China. Weary of herself and others, Lia may be unsure of herself but her eye for rare beauty and special touch when it comes…