16 E 46th St
New York, NY
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1920 – Gotham Book Mart is founded on January 1, 1920 by Frances Steloff in Manhattan. The store quickly becomes a meeting point and safe haven for provocative authors. The store distributes the works of banned writers, from Lady Chatterley to Anaïs Nin‘s books.
Its sign “Wise Men Fish Here” inspired by Washington Irving, is created by artist John Held Jr. who, along with cartoons and magazine covers, designed the illustration for F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s Tales of the Jazz Age.
1947 – The James Joyce Society is founded in Gotham Book Smart, the treasurer is none other than Frances. The store hosts the Finnegans Wake Society meetings as well as a flock of literary events.
1967 – Frances Steloff sell the store to Andreas Brown, Steloff remains on board as a consultant.
2007 – The bookstore closes its doors. 200,000 books are donated to the University of Pennsylvania.
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