An Object of Beauty: A Novel by Steve Martin

By Steve Martin

Lacey Yeager is younger, beautiful, and bold sufficient to take the NYC artwork international by means of typhoon. Groomed at Sotheby's and hungry to maintain mountaineering the social and profession ladders positioned sooner than her, Lacey charms women and men, young and old, wealthy or even richer together with her magnetic air of mystery and liveliness. Her ascension to the top ranges of town parallel the hovering heights--and, from time to time, the darkish lows--of the artwork international and the rustic from the overdue Nineties via this present day.

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Extra resources for An Object of Beauty: A Novel

Sample text

What lifted a picture into the desirable category was a murky but parsable combination of factors. Paintings were collected not because they were pretty, but because of a winding path that leads a collector to his prey. Provenance, subject matter, rarity, and perfection made a painting not just a painting, but a prize. Lacey had seen the looks on the collectors’ faces as they pondered various pictures. These objects, with cooperating input from the collector’s mind, were transformed into things that healed.

Certainly the picture could be freshened. She had an idea that she could corner Tony, the conservator from downstairs, and persuade him to give it a light cleaning. When she got home there was a message on her machine from Jonah Marsh: “Hey, want to do X tonight? ” Sure, Lacey thought, let’s do X. , minutes before dark. Lacey threw a maroon scarf over a lamp, reddening the room. Outside, the streets were wet from a sudden, cooling rain. Lights were coming on in windows across the street. Jonah produced the pills, displaying them in his hand like buttons.

She would occasionally leave him an affectionate message—crafted to be both enticing and distancing—when she guessed he wasn’t home, just to keep the pot stirred. Then Lacey leaned in, as though she were going to tell me a secret. “I was in Atlanta last Sunday. ” I asked. “More than you, not as much as me,” she said. “The Parrish print I told you about? It was across from her, and its presence was almost cruel. She’s so withered, but the print is bright. I took it closer to Gram; she wanted to look at it.

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