TASCHEN TO TAKE OVER LARGE PIECE OF ART INSTITUTE STORE

April 7, 2011 § 2 Comments

*A Brucejquiller Exclusive

The bookstore of the Art Institute of Chicago has agreed to let Taschen create a store-within-a-store, allowing the German-based publisher and retailer of illustrated books to extend its already global reach into the heart of the American museum store market. This is not a consignment arrangement.  According to reliable sources the agreement, the details of which are still being worked out, calls for the Art Institute’s main shop to cede 25-30% of its book display space for the exclusive sale of products produced by Taschen. The company’s successful retail record, and their reputation for keeping books in print favorably impressed  decision- makers at the museum. Taschen operates stand-alone bookstores in Los Angeles, Miami, New York, as well as 7 European cities, according to its website.

In a previous post on this site, MUSEUMS TRASH THEIR BOOKS, I wrote about the outright hostility towards books on the part of top brass at many major museums. The partnership between Taschen and the Art Institute—perhaps the first collaboration of its kind in the United States—brings a new twist to the story of the tortured relationship between museums and their bookstores. Will this model offer museum administrators a new modus operandi ?  Will this unusual move spark serious discussion in the museum world about the role of  books ? Brucejquiller will carry further information about this Spring Surprise, and about the subject of museum bookstores.

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