shopping 04.22.15

The Old Print Shop

Jan Morris chose 1945 as New York City's greatest year. Phillip Lopate has made the case for 1898, in part because of that year's consolidation of Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Bolstering the case for 1898, Lexington Avenue offers a wormhole to that very year: The Old Print Shop, 150 Lex [29th/ 30th] 212.683.3950, and we're not exaggerating (much).

Once you've entered the store, pause and give it a good once-over. It's Old New York in front of you. The year 1898 is when the store opened and it doesn't look like much of anything has changed. It's the perfect place to time travel.

There are lithographs in every corner and drawer. Currier & Ives of course, but thousands of other artists and subjects over many decades, from prints of New York itself to the railroads, sports, ships and portraits of notables. There are maps from the 1500s through the 19th century.

You'll also find 20th century and contemporary works. The Old Print Shop, founded by Edward Gottschalk, was originally downtown in Wanamaker's and it moved to its current location in 1925. After Mr. Gottschalk died, Harry Shaw Newman became the owner and it still remains in that family. Old may be the keyword of this operation but they have a new exhibition space next door, opened in October, 2013. Currently, Don Gorvett and Karen Whitman are featured.

The photo at the top is the Old Print Shop in 1945, by Berenice Abbott. Could have been this morning.

Mercer Street

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