Art and Argyrol eBook cover $9.99 on Kindle, Nook, Apple iBooks, Kobo

(cover by Susan Erony)

Art and Argyrol: The Life and Career of Dr. Albert C. Barnes by William Schack (115,000 words, 5 illustrations)

This first biography of Dr. Albert C. Barnes was serialized on the front page of the Philadelphia Inquirer when it appeared in 1960. In it, arts journalist William Schack interviewed dozens of people who knew the famously pugnacious art collector as he assembled his world-famous collection outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Schack traces the life of Albert Coombs Barnes (1872-1951), from childhood to his student days in Germany where he met the chemist with whom he developed Argyrol, a medication that made Barnes rich and allowed him to become an art collector. After applying for a charter to establish his collection as a public educational institution, Barnes established a highly erratic policy of admission and battled dozens of people and institutions regarding access to it. Art and Argyrol is written in the journalistic style of a bygone era yet retains its fascination for anyone interested in the history of this astounding collection and in Barnes himself.


“William Schack, research chemist, journalist and art writer, has done the first full-scale study of Dr. Barnes, NOT an ‘authorized’ biography... this is a remarkable book about a remarkable Philadelphian” —
The Philadelphia Inquirer

“[Dr. Albert C. Barnes] is an important, as well as a colorful, figure and [...]
Art and Argyrol — the first full-length biography of Barnes — is of considerable interest.” — Max Kozloff, Commentary Magazine (William Schack’s response)