An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin

An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin
An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin

Let’s delve into the captivating world of “An Object of Beauty” by Steve Martin. This novel offers readers a glimpse into the competitive and glamorous New York City art scene, weaving together ambition, wealth, and complex relationships.

Main Characters:

The central character is Lacey Yeager, a young and ambitious woman who aims to conquer the NYC art world. Groomed at Sotheby’s, she possesses magnetic charisma and liveliness, charming all across generations and social strata. Her motivations are driven by a hunger for success and a desire to climb the social and career ladders.


The novel chronicles Lacey’s rise from an assistant at Sotheby’s to owning her own gallery in Chelsea. As she navigates the art world, we witness the highs and lows of her journey. The central conflict revolves around ambition, ethics, and the price one pays for success. Lacey’s choices lead to both triumphs and dark moments, creating a compelling narrative that keeps readers engaged.


The story unfolds against the backdrop of late 1990s through contemporary times in New York City. The art world serves as a dynamic and influential setting, shaping the characters’ lives and decisions. The Upper East Side galleries, modern masters, and the contemporary hotshots of Chelsea all play pivotal roles in Lacey’s journey.


Several underlying themes enrich the novel:

  • Ambition and Sacrifice: Lacey’s relentless pursuit of success comes at a cost. She sacrifices personal relationships and ethical boundaries in her climb to the top.
  • Art and Commerce: The tension between artistic integrity and commercial interests is palpable. The characters grapple with the intersection of creativity and profit.
  • Beauty and Deception: The title itself hints at the duality of beauty—both as an object of desire and a mask for hidden motives.
  • Social Climbing: Lacey’s ascent mirrors the broader theme of social mobility and the lengths people go to achieve it.


“An Object of Beauty” leaves readers pondering the allure of success, the compromises made, and the impact on personal lives. Steve Martin’s sardonic morality tale invites us to question our own ambitions and the price we’re willing to pay for them. In a world where beauty and ambition collide, Lacey Yeager’s journey serves as a cautionary tale and a fascinating exploration of human nature.

In summary, “An Object of Beauty” paints a vivid portrait of ambition, art, and the complexities of relationships in the glittering world of New York City. Lacey Yeager’s character embodies both the allure and pitfalls of success, making this novel a compelling read. If you haven’t already, consider diving into this captivating tale!

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