Regular readers will probably already know that the AIPAD Show (AIPAD is the Association of International Photography Art Dealers—say "AY-pad") is going on in New York City this weekend, at the Park Avenue Armory.
The AIPAD Show is the "other" North American trade show for photography. Enthusiasts, pros and equipment geeks are all over the VISCOMM Show at the Javits Center, which is the trade show for gear 'n' "stuff," but relatively few know about the AIPAD Show, which is the trade show for pictures.
Imagine a hundred or so photography galleries from all around the world renting booths in the same exhibition hall and bringing all their best, most salable stuff, both historical and contemporary, to display and sell, and you've about got the gestalt. But not before adding seminars, talks by famous photographers (Bruce Davidson, whose books we were discussing recently, is one of the presenters this year), and "exhibitions within the exhibition," including one this year that features treasures from the George Eastman House collection. It's a trade show, and dealers, collectors, and museums (well, curators) are quietly conducting business in the background, but there's a huge cornucopia of original work on display for the casual browser as well. (The cover of the illustrated catalog from the 2009 show is shown at right.)
Naturally the risk is that most of the work you'll see is work that is proven to be salable, so it's more of a "greatest hits" parade and not the best place to get a handle on recent, new, and innovative work, but the sheer volume of work on display means you get to see a little bit of everything.
For instance this year Charles Schwartz Ltd. is offering a rare silver-gelatin print of W. Eugene Smith's famous "In the Garden," which will certainly be priced well into six figures.
W. Eugene Smith, In the Garden
This is also the weekend for my annual vow to attend the AIPAD Show the next year, which I never do. (This year I even have airline miles that are about to expire, and I am kicking myself, hard, for not putting those two things together. Ow.) But I hereby dutifully so vow. Set up that football, Lucy, I'm a-comin'.
The DLK Collection blog is there and doing a booth review, spilling the beans on prices, too, which is interesting. Here's the link to Part 1, but be sure to check for updates. Here's the New York Times review.
(Thanks to John Camp)
ADDENDUM: The proper title of the Smith picture is "The Walk to Paradise Garden," as Scott Kirkpatrick has pointed out in the comments.
Featured Comment by Michael W: "Even better coverage by James Danziger who also has a booth at the show."
Danziger Projects booth, The AIPAD Show, NYC, 2009