Who’s Buying Great Art?

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New novel sheds light on secret world of auction houses.

Every so often you hear about it: a new record art sale. Millions for a Monet or Van Gogh. Millions more for an original Picasso. Have you ever wondered who was paying such astronomical sums for these masterworks, and how they do it? A new novel already receiving raves delivers a nuanced look at the auctions where such works are sold, and the kind of people doing the bidding

In his new novel, "Late and Soon," author and journalist Robert J. Hughes gives you a front-row seat into an exhilarating fine art auction world – a place where a unique culture and commerce meet. In the novel, the reader’s is let in on the haggling over art, the appraisal process, the heartache behind the canvas, the drama at the front of the house when the auctioneer drives the crowd into a frenzy of buying. As Hughes puts it, “It's live theater at its best.”

"Late and Soon" explores the world of big auctions through characters involved in this business, and those who work with them. It's seen mainly through the eyes of Claire, a specialist in art at Sotheby's, whose personal life is in turmoil just at the point when she's putting together a sale of paintings. Novelist Adriana Trigiani calls "Late and Soon" a "gorgeous" novel, "filled with fine art, humor and insight…a page-turning story with gusto."

Novelist Robert J. Hughes is also a reporter for The Wall Street Journal. He has covered art auctions, the art world and culture for that newspaper and can speak on those topics and also the many ways his novel "Late and Soon" will appeal to people everywhere.


Betsy Steve


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Betsy Steve

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