- By Elizabeth Brockway -
Strolling down Bond Street in NoHo on a cloudy Sunday afternoon, I happened to find myself inside a photography lover’s heaven: Dashwood Books. Located at 33 Bond Street, between Lafayette St. and Bowery, the store is hidden a few steps down from street level, but it is certainly not someplace you’d want to miss. Dashwood is the City’s only independent bookstore dedicated solely to photography. After I walked down the wrought iron steps and opened the door, the shop assistant warmly greeted me and offered her help. Wanting to get a feel for the store, I declined, and instead browsed quietly. Much to my excitement, I found catalogues and monographs of each of my favorite photographers, such as Larry Clark or Edward Weston, as well artists of whom I was previously unaware. Opening book after book, I found myself discovering inspiration from all of the wonderful works of art for my own projects.
I browsed for half an hour, but could have easily stayed the entire afternoon. As I opened the catalogue to Taryn
Simon’s show, “A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapters” (on display at the Tate Modern in London), neighborhood locals filtered in and out, the cast of characters animating the quiet room. The store’s small space lends itself to both a newcomer and seasoned veteran. The square wood shelving, combined with the different colors and sizes of books, makes the interior a treat for the eye as well as the brain. Though Dashwood houses hundreds of books of serious subject matter, a sense of humor is not lost: a stuffed-animal monkey with the face of Terry Richardson was casually placed on a shelf.
Dashwood Books opened six years ago this September by owner David Strettell, formerly the Cultural Director of Magnum Photos. His experience in the field is obvious as soon as you step into the store. Expertly curated, the bookstore houses thousands of photography books, but rather than intimidating, invites us to take a few minutes and explore. The store specializes in contemporary photography (1960s onward) from the USA, Europe, and Japan, as well as having rare vintage and out-of-print books.
If you love the store as much as I do, Dashwood Books holds book-signings and special events. And if you don’t have the luck of living in New York City, do not despair, Dashwood Books has a website with an e-shop, complete with books that you can have sent to your front door. Stop by Dashwood Books, open seven days a week, or browse their website, www.dashwoodbooks.com, for more information. Hopefully I’ll see you there!
*online shop available as well*
Elizabeth Hunt Brockway is a fashion, art, and film obsessed writer and photographer from Washington, DC. She began her career at fashion PR firm, PR Consulting, followed by a year interning at American Vogue, and is presently working with stylist Elissa Santisi and Into the Gloss blogger, Emily Weiss. She currently resides in Manhattan.