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Solid Start For New Art Book Fair
Calvin Reid -- 6/1/98
Despite a few complaints about the need for more publicity and its proximity to BookExpo America, the organizers of the first annual Art Book Fair and its exhibiting publishers overwhelmingly expressed satisfaction with New York City's newest trade book fair and were optimistic about its future.
Dan Farrell, general manager of the Antique Collectors Club, initial organizer of the the Art Book Fair, told PW, "We're pleased. The first day in particular was crowded with international visitors." Farrell said the two-day fair, held at the Metropolitan Pavilion in the Chelsea section of Manhattan, had preregistered about 700 visitors plus another 100 at the door on the first day. There were 51 registered booths, many featuring multiple publishers. Farrell pointed to "great diversity" in attendees-museum store buyers, chain category buyers, art dealers, librarians and a budding rights market. He also noted that exhibiting distributors represented more than 400 art book imprints. "The fair was organized on short notice at Frankfurt, so some houses aren't here. It's the first year, so some wanted to wait and see," said Farrell.

Publishers in attendance seemed satisfied, although they expected to see some of the same accounts in Chicago at BEA. "It's been very international," said Stewart, Tabori &Chang's Michael Gray. Nevertheless, Diana Frerking of Abbeville noted that "It's so close to BEA, maybe they're overdoing it. But the museum buyers seem to love it, and they're important."
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