{Book Club Guide} A Soiree Fit for Monet

Make your next book club meeting a masterpiece with these art-themed books, snacks and ideas.

READ one of these very discuss-able books:

An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin. Martin, a longtime art collector, exposes the beautiful and the seamy side of Manhattan’s art world. Part art-history primer and part satire, An Object of Beauty follows protagonist Lucy Yeager, a recent art grad, as she claws her way to the to the top of the gallery business by any means necessary–lying, cheating and sleeping with patrons are all fair game.

Girl in Hyacinth Blue by Susan Vreeland. There are just 35 known paintings by Johannes Vermeer. Vreeland imagines the existence of number 36, and traces it through time as it’s passed from owner to owner. From a Nazi who stole it from a Jewish family to a bohemian student–all the way back to Vermeer’s own daughter, Magdalena, each owner falls in love with the painting in a unique and revealing way.

Basquiat: A Quick Killing in Art by Phoebe Hoban. A page-turning look at the life of this brilliant young artist who died tragically at just 28 years old. It’s also a critique of the art world, which Hoban suggests is partly to blame for Basquiat’s death.

Diane Arbus: A Biography by Patricia Bosworth. In the 1950s, Diane Arbus was a dutiful housewife to her photographer husband. By the time she committed suicide in 1971, her marriage was over and she was famous as a “photographer of freaks.” Arbus was a brilliant mind and an example of the drastic changes that occurred for women between 1950 and 1971.

The “Cubist” cocktail

{click here for the recipe!}

The “Cubist” cocktail
Recipe by Cheryl R. Heisler 


* 2 oz. Van Gogh Classic 80-proof Vodka*
* 3 assorted frozen fruit juice “cubes” in bright colors. Consider: orange, pomegranate, purple grape, kiwi, cranberry, blueberry etc. (frozen “cubes” of fresh fruit would also work but are more time intensive to prepare)
* Individual round fruits or fruit balls for garnish.

Advance preparation:
Fill several ice cube trays with your fruit juices of choice at least 24 hours in advance.

Day of:
Crack the cubes out of the trays and assemble a mix of assorted color cubes in the bottom of a chilled martini glass.
Top with chilled Van Gogh Vodka.
Garnish with a child’s paintbrush, skewered with grapes or melon balls.

*A non-alcoholic version of this drink could be made by simply replacing the vodka with 7-Up or Ginger Ale.

‘Party in a Box’ cheese quad
from FOF-owned cheese shop, Cowgirl Creamery served on an Artist Palette Cheese Tray from Fishs Eddy. (Plus, ENTER TO WIN it here.)

Invite a art history professor from a local college to give your book club members new insight on the artists, styles of art and works mentioned in the art-themed books you have read.

Name that artist – Prepare a slideshow with images of the works mentioned in the books you’ve read. The book club member who can “Name That Artist” wins.

Artist-artwork matching game– Before the party, prepare post-its with artists and their most famous artwork. For example: one post it could say Van Gogh, another could say Starry Night. You can even use art-artwork pairs from the books you have read. Put a post-it on each guest’s back (without them seeing what it says!) The goal is for each guest find their match, by asking the other guests questions about their identity. The first guests to find their match win.





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