Closed on Valentine’s Day, 2011, after 36 years of operation, Bowne & Co Stationers was a beloved re-creation of a small nineteenth-century printing and stationer’s shop in the South Street Seaport area of Lower Manhattan. Established in honor of one of New York City’s oldest and longest-running businesses, Bowne & Co. was a museum that did not look like a museum. It was a working press that still took custom orders, a destination for researchers and school groups, and a beautiful neighborhood shop that inspired passionate responses from visitors from around the world.
Now, as its parent institution, the Seaport Museum New York, struggles financially, the future of Bowne and its significant collection is uncertain and potentially at risk of disappearing altogether.
Friends of Bowne is a group of individuals who care about what happens to Bowne & Co. It is a public platform for sharing news, ideas, and support, in an effort to ensure Bowne receives the stewardship it deserves. Mainly, it is a way to keep the idea of the shop open, even as its doors are closed, because we believe the survival of Bowne & Co. will help make New York City a richer, more interesting place.
… But don’t just take our word for it! Comment with your own memories and impressions of Bowne on our blog. Tell us why you think it’s important that Bowne survive. Share thoughts, information, as well as feedback! Feedback is very, very welcome. Also feel free to contact the admins “offline,” if you’d rather, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Doug Clouse and Laura Koo Nicholas are the current admins for this blog. Doug was the shop’s master printer since June 2010 and a volunteer for four years before that. Laura began volunteering in November 2010. Both were present at Bowne on the afternoon that the Museum closed the shop.