Are you ready for the next book of .ART Book Club? This book will definitely lighten your mood while enlightening you on little-known facts about very well-known artworks and artists. We are sure that this book will entertain you as much as it will make your art history knowledge grow. Our fourth book is ArtCurious, subtitled Stories of the Unexpected, Slightly Odd, and Strangely Wonderful in Art History.   

This book will satisfy the curiosity of anybody who has once been to a museum or looking at an artwork and wonders about the artist’s state of mind, the back story, the hidden messages, and the darkest secrets of the work. We are sure that you will also be able to sound cleverer at the dinner table or impress your next date who doesn’t really like museums because “they are so boring…”   

As usual, we aim to foster discussion, and we think that this book might spark some good ones and maybe find Jennifer’s next story for her podcast or her next book – why not! While you are reading or diving into the conversation, let’s keep the following questions floating in the air;   

  • What art history myth would you like to see debunked?   
  • Is there one artist, museum or artwork you would like to see Jennifer dig deeper on?  

Remember to comment like our post to enter our giveaway. We also invite you to follow Jennifer Dasal on the Instagram account of her podcast @artcuriouspod, .ART @artdomains as well as the publisher @penguinrandomhouse for an additional chance to win! If you don’t win your copy by participating in our giveaway, make sure to head to your local bookstore or on to order your copy!   

We would also like to hear from you. What are your thoughts about this book? Any stories which you would like to know more about? Do you have a question for Jennifer? Want to share your unexpected or slightly odd story from art history? Do you have a suggestion for us? Get the conversation going on social media, and let’s create a buzz about art history! 

Review of the book by evlyne Laurin  

It is not a surprise as I work and write for .ART that I love, really love art history. I started my journey in the arts in photography, and with my first art history class came an eagerness to always know more, hear more, read more, see more. I must say that it didn’t hurt that the older and wiser French gentleman who taught this class, my first almost 20 years ago, had a captivating way to make us learn and remember. His knowledge was expansive, his life almost like a James Bond of the art world. His stories were colourful and entertaining, to say the least. I still remember one about Toulouse Lautrec that wouldn’t be so proper to add to these lines. Therefore, it was with a great appetite that I devoured it when this book crossed my path.   

I like the accessibility and how easy you will embark on the journey through which Jennifer takes you. While I was familiar with some of the stories, some just blew my mind – let’s mention the one about The (Possible) Murder of Vincent van Gogh. And even when I knew the basics or at least part of the back story, I learned tons. I was also definitely entertained. The writing is fluid, on point and makes you eager to discover more about each one. It is well researched and based on facts. I sincerely appreciate the introduction in which Jennifer tells her story and how she got hooked on art history. She grabs your attention every time, opening each one of the chapters with something relatable. I laughed many times but also got chills. The way her writing conveys the pace of a fascinating conversation while giving information, never sounding didactic, is impressive.   

I would recommend this book to anybody who doesn’t know what to give in a secret Santa gift exchange, to the student who loves art, the granny that goes to the museum. In short, this book will make an excellent present to anybody who enjoys art and you of course.   

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A bit about the author  

Jennifer Dasal is the former curator of modern and contemporary art at the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, North Carolina, and the host of the independent podcast ArtCurious, which she started in 2016 and which was named one of the best podcasts by O, The Oprah Magazine and PC Magazine. She holds an MA in art history from the University of Notre Dame and a BA in art history from the University of California, Davis. She has also completed PhD coursework in art history at Pennsylvania State University. She lectures frequently on art both locally and nationally.