GALVESTON — Rosenberg Library is pleased to announce that “The Art Forger,” a novel by B.A. Shapiro, will be the Summer 2014 selection for its Museum Book Club series.

A New York Times best-seller, “The Art Forger” is a work of fiction inspired by the legendary theft of 13 priceless masterpieces from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990.

“The Art Forger” tells the story of Claire Roth, a struggling young artist who makes a living creating reproductions of famous paintings to sell online. In an attempt to make a name for herself in the art world, Claire agrees to create a forged copy of a Degas painting that was among those stolen from the Gardner Museum.

In return, she is promised a one-woman show of her work at a prestigious gallery. Once Claire begins to study the Degas she is to reproduce, she comes to the realization that the stolen painting is actually a forgery itself.

Her search for the painting’s true origins draws Claire into a dangerous network of unscrupulous collectors and deceitful dealers. The only way she can save her life is to uncover a dark secret from the past.

Rosenberg Library’s Museum Book Club offers participants the chance to experience art and literature in a more interactive way. Members have the opportunity to view rarely exhibited art and historical artifacts from the library’s permanent collection as they discuss related books.

Book club participants will experience an up-close view of several paintings from the library’s art collection, which are copies or forgeries of original works by famous artists.

Among these are two portraits in the manner of renowned 19th century British painter Sir Thomas Lawrence. Also on display are works attributed to Grant Wood and Edgar Degas, which were later determined to be fakes.

One of the most fascinating examples of forgery in the library’s museum collection is a portrait once thought to be by early 20th century modern painter Amedeo Modigliani. This painting underwent intensive examination by experts in 2013 and also was determined to be a fake. Original, authenticated works by Modigliani sell for millions of dollars at auctions.

The first meeting of the Summer 2014 Museum Book Club will be from noon to 1 p.m. June 18. A second lunchtime session will be from noon to 1 p.m. July 17. On Aug. 16, the book discussion and art presentation is scheduled from 11 a.m. to noon.

The club meets in the McCullough Room on the library’s second floor, 2310 Sealy Ave. Light refreshments are provided at all sessions.

Registration is required for all meetings. Established book clubs are encouraged to participate. Groups of more than 10 people are asked to call the reference desk in advance to arrange accommodations. 

“The Art Forger” is available for checkout at the Rosenberg Library and is available for checkout as an e-book through Rosenberg’s 3M Cloud Library.

Visit or call 409-763-8854, Ext. 115.

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