Noah Charney by Urska Charney

What’s Noah Charney up to in 2019?

The Museum of Lost Art author is turning to crowd funding in an attempt to protect art in at-risk countries

The author, scholar and fine-art super sleuth Noah Charney has the kind of working schedule that would put a Renaissance atelier to shame. Barely a week goes by without him publishing a handful of articles, editing a new journal, or spearheading a new conservation strategy.

Yet, while this US-born, Slovenian-based scholar might have an assertive, old-school approach to hard work, he’s also quite willing to let new technology pick up some of the slack. Read on to discover how 2018 was for him, and why, in 2019, he plans to use Kickstarter to power his cultural protection program.


A spread from The Museum of Lost Art
A spread from The Museum of Lost Art

What was the thing that inspired you most in 2018? 
I've enjoyed doing some collaborative projects: a cookbook with Slovenia's leading chef (JB), a handbook for young artists with Slovenia's leading conceptual artist (JASA), and other adventures wherein I'm helping someone else tell an amazing story. 

What was your personal highlight of 2018? I was delighted with several almost-awards. My book The Collector of Lives was a finalist for the Pulitzer and my latest Phaidon book, The Museum of Lost Art, came in second place for the Digital Book World Awards. Silver medals are okay by me.  

What annoyed you most in 2018? There's a vein of water flowing under my house from township-owned land, and it's been an adventure to get the town hall to fix the problem to keep water out of my basement! (Okay, it's not art-related, but you asked...) 

What can we expect from you in 2019? I'll be launching a Kickstarter campaign on behalf of ARCA, the Association for Research into Crimes Against Art. We are a very small research group that established, ten years ago, the world's first academic program in the study of art crime and cultural heritage protection, which we run every year in Italy. We are planning to raise scholarship funding for students from at-risk countries to attend our program and get training in how to protect cultural heritage back home. That's my biggest goal in the near future. Plus, more books! 

Who did you give your Phaidon book to for Xmas? I hear from readers all over the world who have read it and send me stories of art lost and found. I feel that it's hit upon a touchstone for a lot of people. But I wasn't certain that my great aunt had a copy, so she got a copy!


The Museum of Lost Art
The Museum of Lost Art

To find out more about the kind of at that could be saved (and the sort of things that have been lost) order a copy of The Museum of Lost Art here.