Artbook | D.A.P., the largest source for books on twentieth century art, photography, architecture and art criticism, has opened a showroom in downtown Los Angeles where both gift and book buyers can view the hundreds of art books on display before placing their orders.
The 2,800 square foot showroom replaces a space in Hollywood that had served as the company's showroom for a year and is run by Jane Brown, D.A.P.’s vice president and national accounts manager, and Tricia Gabriel, its West Coast gift account rep. “Although the bulk of our sales come from the traditional book trade, the gift market has become a key component of our business,” says Brown. “It highlights our books in a non-bookstore setting and makes them visible to a broader audience.” Artbook | D.A.P. hired Gabriel after being distributed to the gift trade on the West Coast by Stephen Young. “We distribute 300 to 350 art book publishers, many of them in Europe, and Tricia has a great art background. She was the book buyer at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and has an understanding of the specialty markets for our high-end books,” Brown notes. Commission book reps sell Artbook | D.A.P. to the indies, and gift distributor Aesthetic Movements covers gift accounts.
New York-based Art Book Distributors was founded in 1990 by Sharon Gallagher, and the company has grown steadily over the last two decades. “We have one foot in the book world, and one foot in the art world,” says Brown, who has been with the company for over 10 years. “One of our intentions is to make it easier for book buyers to get European publications.”Artbook | D.A.P. distributes publications for several museums, including the Guggenheim, the Museum of Modern Art, Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Perseus handles order fulfillment for the company, which actively participates in major art fairs around the country and supplies books to numerous galleries for artist events.Current bestsellers for Artbook | D.A.P. include Gerhard Richter's Forty Years of Painting, Design Like You Give a Damn, Stephen Shore: Uncommon Places, and Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopedia.
“Business this year is on par with 2011, which is fine for us,” Brown says. “We’re dependent on museums to produce books for us to sell, as well as sell a lot of our distributed titles, and they got hit hard during the financial crash. But the museums are coming back. Sales in their shops are up, and they’re publishing more books as well.”
Artbook | D.A.P. began sharing its showroom with Aesthetic Movements this month. “We’re a good match,” says Brown, “and will blend well together in this space. L.A. is an important growing market for what we do.”