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Andy Warhol, Rare broadside for Gotham Bookmart exhibition "Andy Warhol His Early Works, 1947 - 1959", 1971
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Rare broadside for Gotham Bookmart exhibition "Andy Warhol His Early Works, 1947 - 1959", 1971
Offset lithograph poster (unsigned)
18 × 12 1/2 inches
This rare early poster was published by Gotham Book Mart to promote the release of the book "Andy Warhol His Early Works 1947-1959" in 1971.
The only occasion we have seen another example of this poster over the past several decades is at the University of Pennsylvania, where, in 2019, they held a conference to celebrate the Gotham Bookmart. (Links to articles about this event are below):
The conferenced, entitled "Wise Men Fished Here" is the culmination of ten years of sorting and cataloguing, said David McKnight, director of the rare book and manuscript library at Penn. The university acquired the Gotham Book Mart collection in 2008, a year after the store had closed for good, having endured financial difficulties and one final, unfavorable move to East 46th Street. According to McKnight, the collection was stored on 181 pallets, and included roughly 200,000 books and two hundred linear feet of archival materials. All of which was stored in a Connecticut warehouse while the donors awaited proposals from a few handpicked institutions—which may have included the other three institutions where Gotham Book Mart material has ended up over the years: the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas, the New York Public Library, and Skidmore College.
The provenance of this work is superb as it was acquired from the sale of the collection of Edward Gorey and Gotham Book Mart. The Gotham Book Mart was a famous Midtown Manhattan bookstore and cultural landmark that operated from 1920 to 2007. The business was located first in a small basement space on West 45th Street near the Theater District, then moved to 51 West 47th Street, then spent many years at 41 West 47th Street within the Diamond District in Manhattan, New York City, before finally moving to 16 East 46th Street. Beyond merely selling books, the store virtually played as a literary salon, hosting meetings of the Finnegans Wake Society, the James Joyce Society, poetry and author readings, art exhibits, and more. It was known for its distinctive sign above the door which read, "Wise Men Fish Here" (sign created by artist John Held Jr.). The store specialized in poetry, literature, books about theater, art, music and dance. It sold both new books as well as out-of-print and rare books. It published books by Andy Warhol, and a slew of celebrities and literary figures were associated with this venerated place. The bulk of the collection was donated to the University of Pennsylvania.