Saturday, January 3, 2009

Gotham Book Mart Holdings Are Given to Penn

The Gotham Book Mart was a famous midtown Manhattan bookstore and cultural landmark that operated from 1920 to 2007.  News of its priceless artifacts was noted by Sewell Chan in the January 2 New York Times:
About 200,000 items from the Gotham Book Mart, which closed in 2007 after 87 years as a New York literary haven of international stature, have been donated to the University of Pennsylvania.

The Gotham Book Mart was founded on West 45th Street in 1920 by Frances Steloff. It was the haunt of literary figures like Theodore Dreiser, John Dos Passos, H. L. Mencken, Arthur Miller, John Updike, J. D. Salinger and Eugene O’Neill. It exhibited the works of the artist Edward Gorey. Its customers included George and Ira Gershwin, Charlie Chaplin, Alexander Calder, Stephen Spender, Woody Allen, Saul Bellow, John Guare, Katharine Hepburn and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. At various points, Allen Ginsberg, LeRoi Jones and Tennessee Williams (for a day) worked as clerks there.

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