We tend to think of the books in museum shops as merely art books and monographs. Visit to
Manhattan’s Miracle Mile on Fifth Avenue between 82nd and 105th Streets proves otherwise. www.ny.com/museums/mile.html.
The charming museum shop at el Museo del Barrio, 1230 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10029 on 104th Street carries both fiction and non-fiction by and about Latin. Adult books in English or Spanish and many children’s books are bilingual. About 30% of merchandise is books under titles such as the Latino Interest, Puerto Rico, Women’s Studies, Spirituality, Cookbooks, and Music. Museum store manager Ilana Stollman accepts books from all publishers. He had little experience with self-published books but did not refuse to hoard them. Submit a copy of the review or catalog of the book. 212-831-7272, x130. www.elmuseo.org.
Guidepost Montessori at Museum Mile
The New York City Museum, 1220 Fifth Ave, New York, NY 10029 (212-534-1672) is between 103rd and 104th Streets, three blocks north of Mt. Sinai. The museum shop is about 98% books, covering five regions, although children’s books belong to the more general topic. Many books are too big and there are no guidebooks. www.mcny.org.
The Cooper Shop at the Jewish Museum, 1 East 92nd Street, (212-423-3211) has a number of books on Judaism. You have to send your book to Israel Jaronoski, the book buyer, for him to make a decision. I hope you have better luck achieving it than I did (212-423-3312).
Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, 2 East 91 Street, and National Academy of Design, 1083 Fifth Avenue, (212-369-4880) are often confused in people’s minds because of the similarity of names. But, according to John M. Ravet, manager / buyer of books at the National Academy of Design, the two are “very different.” “I answer this question several times a day,” he said. Cooper-Hewitt is applied design, he explained, while the National Academy, founded in 1825, follows the “traditional definition” – drawing, painting, sculpture, etching, architecture. The Academy also focuses on the artists and architects of its 2100 members – past and present. Small press, self-publishers and foreign press are welcome to send books. “We tend to focus on books that are not found anywhere else. That’s why we have a small publisher.” John added that while monographs abound, member biographies are urgently needed. You will find a list of them at www.nationalacademy.org.
At the Cooper-Hewitt gift shop, there are books ranging from 16th century etching to modern day designs – be it textiles, table settings or castles. In addition, unique book jackets are always welcome. According to the seller, “The subject of the book doesn’t matter if it has an unusual design concept.” These include children’s pop-up books and padded book jackets. Non-three-dimensional books have text that starts on the front cover.
The museum shop at the Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10128 (89th Street), 212-423-3500, has books about early to contemporary European artists and architects that are in permanent collections or have been displayed in museum exhibits. All books that fit in this category, regardless of publisher, are considered by book buyers Ed Fuqua. Send him at 575 Broadway, New York, New York 10012. (212-423-3852 www.guggenheim.org).
The mother of all museum shops is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10028 (main entrance on 82nd Street), 212-535-7710. This massive bookstore carries books on artists and art history, travel, women’s studies, gardening, and costumes, plus a corner of small New York City. According to book buyer Marilyn Jensen, the majority of books come from major publishers. However, he will accept books from small publishers (no arrogance press). Send him at 6 E. 82nd Street, New York, NY 10028 (212-396-5535). Most of the books reflect the various departments in the museum, namely, medieval art, ancient Egypt.