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The Old Print Shop located at 150 Lexington Avenue

The Old Print Shop located at 150 Lexington Avenue

When The Old Print Shop first opened its doors in 1898, it was located on Fourth Avenue between 9th and 10th Streets, behind Wanamaker’s. In 1925, it moved to its current location on Lexington Avenue and in 1928, Harry Shaw Newman, who had been a patron of the shop, bought it from the original owner’s widow. Three generations later, The Old Print Shop is still a family run business specializing in American graphic arts, antiquarian maps, atlases, and artist books (livres d’artist).

The Old Print Shop

Front room on the first floor of The Old Print Shop

Here you will find one of the largest inventories of American fine art prints dating from 1900-1950. They also have an extensive inventory of American historical prints by the likes of Currier & Ives and John James Audubon, American town views and maps published before 1850. Kenneth Schuyler was kind enough to take us through the building and along the way, shared some of their collection and wonderful stories from his many years with the shop.  “You never know what will come through those doors,”  he says.

First Floor of The Old Print Shop

Opening at this location in 1925, the interior has changed very little over the years

In addition, they have two gallery spaces–one on each floor–with regular exhibits by well-known artists.  Currently, the Richard Haas exhibit is up. Best known for his mural work (including the exterior wall of The Fontainebleau on Miami Beach painted by Haas in 1985), Haas is a prolific painter. When the New York Historical Society reopened in 2011, the 77th Street Rotunda hung four panels depicting a 360-degree view of the New York City’s skyline, which had been on displayed in the employee dining room of the Philip Morris headquarters since 1982.

First Floor Gallery Room, Richard Haas exhibit

First Floor Gallery Room with the current Richard Haas exhibit

In this exhibit we viewed a full-range of his work of New York cityscapes in every medium including two of his three dimensional dioramas. His career has taken him from the small diorama boxes that he created in the mid 1960s to the New York street views and on to full-scale murals, including one for the main branch of the New York Public Library.

Richard Haas oil paintings

Richard Haas paintings and sculptures by Robert Cook and Masaaki Noda

Included in this exhibit are two of Haas’ three dimensional dioramas. One of Broome Street and one of Green Street. Our photos were taken a foot away from the box, looking in.

Broome Street Looking West, a three dimensional diorama, 1971 by Richard Haas

Broome Street Looking West, a three dimensional diorama, 1971 by Richard Haas

Green Street Looking South, a three dimensional diorama, 1971 by Richard Haas

Green Street Looking South, a three dimensional diorama, 1971 by Richard Haas

Book by Richard Haas

On display, A Catalogue Raisonne 1970-2004 by Richard Haas

He authored two books, both on display during this exhibit: The City is My Canvas (2001) and The Prints of Richard Haas: A Catalogue Raisonne 1970-2004 (2005).  The book below is open to a page showing his 1975 outdoor mural covering the bare brick wall of 112 Prince Street. Using paint, he mimicked a cast-iron facade.  You can see the original bare wall on the top of the page on the left and below it, a partially completed trompe-l’Oeil.

Book of Murals by Richard Haas

‘The City is My Canvas’ by Richard Haas also on display and open to his Prince St project

The current exhibit, New York City As Art will be up through March 21.  Mr. Haas is also exhibiting at The National Academy Museum located at 1083 Fifth Avenue in ‘Curatorial Lab: Revealing Architecture’ through May 3rd.

Second Floor of The Old Print Shop

Second Floor of The Old Print Shop with a current exhibition of contemporary artists

Keep an eye on The Old Print Shop website for opening receptions and exhibits.  They also host receptions for groups interested in historical prints and printmaking. Open Tuesday through Saturday, they are easy to reach on Lexington Avenue between 29th and 30th Streets.

Contact the author at AFineLyne

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