Monday, July 11, 2016

NY Central Art Supply


Last year I shared the news that New York Central, one of the oldest art supply stores in the country, was in trouble.

Today they announce that the shop will be going out of business by end of summer. Doug Steinberg wrote in with a press release, explaining that the closure is "due to poor business conditions and its building being sold."

From the press release:

"The store, which has been in continuous operation at 62 Third Avenue since 1905, is losing its month to month lease at the end of September.

Founded in 1905 by Benjamin Steinberg, the store has been run by the Steinberg family for more than 3 generations. Benjamin’s son Harold (whose brother Gilbert went on to open Lee’s Art Shop which also recently closed) took over in the 1940s. The store’s most recent President, Steven Steinberg, started working at the store in the 1950s and took over in the early 1970s. He built the store into a mainstay of modern artists, and added a world-renowned paper department. His sister Marcia Norins worked there as well, running New York Central Framing, which closed in 2012. Steven Steinberg recently passed away in November of 2015 after a lengthy battle with Parkinson’s Disease, and his sister Marcia passed away from Cancer in July of 2015.

'We’ve held on as long as we could out of loyalty to our long-time staff and amazing customers, but the business was not set up to survive current economic conditions,' said Barrie Steinberg, Steven’s daughter.

The store's customer list over the years has read like a who's who of modern artists, including Andy Warhol, Willem deKooning, Frank Stella, Larry Rivers, Cecily Brown, Keith Haring and many more, but in recent years the store has faced tremendous challenges from the rise of online shopping and the infiltration of national chain stores.

'In a world where people can get what they need shipped to their door with the tap of a finger, Central’s old-world charm and personal service was both a blessing and a curse,' said Doug Steinberg, Steven’s son. 'It’s very emotional for everyone. I’ve known most of the employees since I was a boy. I really hope another store realizes how amazing they are and offers them a new opportunity.'

The store plans on remaining open throughout the summer as it liquidates current inventory."


crutch said...

The framing department did not close in 2012. I worked for Marcia 2013-2014 in the framing department. The business was a mess partially because the owners refused to use computers. Receipts were all handwritten by employees.

alston green said...

I' m so disappointed to see a veteran business shutter it's doors. I have been a customer for many years .Much less with all the digital technology. You will be sorely missed . Godspeed !!

Alston Green

Rebecca G. said...

This breaks my heart. I love this art supply store so much. It has the best of everything.

John K said...

I used to love wandering around in this store, and always bought something: inks, drawing pads, pens, you name it. Does New York really want to have nothing more than Staples and other chain stores dotting its landscape? Seriously, people, New York Art Supply and the store like it that are being erased--ERASED--from the city had items the chains do not.

Also, are all of New York City's and state's politicians so beholden to the real estate industry that they will simply not get off their tucheses and do something about this mass social and cultural erasure that hyper-gentrification is causing? What will it take to wake them up or are those real estate dollars like the strongest Ambien money can buy?