Beaverbrook: A Shattered Legacy

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Goose Lane Editions, 2007 - Art - 317 pages

For the first time, the fully documented story of the unravelling of the Beaverbrook legacy. From humble beginnings, Max Aitken, later Lord Beaverbrook, rose to the heights of politics and business. His philanthropy knew no bounds, or so it seemed. In the late 1950s, he built the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton as a gift to the people of New Brunswick and stocked it with a large collection of masterworks that form the core of the Gallery's prestigious collection. Today, the paintings are at the centre of a bitter battle between the Gallery and the two charitable Beaverbrook foundations — a battle that has rocked the art world on both sides of the Atlantic.

But the "Beaverbrook dispute" is only part of this intriguing story. In this fascinating account, Jacques Poitras explores the intertwined history of the Aitken family and the Beaverbrook Gallery. Sifting through Beaverbrook's own correspondence, public and archival records in Canada and England, and interviews with friends and foes, including those involved in the dispute, Poitras disentangles the exploits of the original Lord Beaverbrook and the uncertain fortunes of a once-influential family.

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About the author (2007)

Jacques Poitras has been CBC Radio's provincial affairs reporter in New Brunswick since 2000. He has written numerous award-winning feature documentaries and has appeared on Radio-Canada, National Public Radio, and the BBC. His first book was the critically acclaimed The Right Fight: Bernard Lord and the Conservative Dilemma. He lives near Fredericton.

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