Leadapron, bookstore & gallery
Interview with Jonathan Brown, owner Leadapron, (Spring, 2008) (Orignally published on The Photo Exchange, subseqently on The Photo Exhibit)
While we were at the Palm Springs Photo Festival in March, I had the opportunity to meet Jonathan Brown, the owner of Leadapron, a fine art bookstore and gallery located on Robertson Ave in Los Angeles.
Subsequently, I had a brief phone interview with Jonathan about Leadapron. This is a brief paraphrase of our resulting conversation;
DS: Jonathan, thank you for the opportunity to discuss Leadapron and the sale of your fine art photography books and prints. First, tell me about the name Leadapron?
JB: I choose this name about 10 years ago in relation to a theater production I was directing and I think it is a good fit with what we do now. The apron is worn by the trades men and women who make things. They keep our day to day lives intact. They also make the things that furnish our culture and drive our civilization…objects and things that are left behind.
Lead is a material that is used as a protective shield, such as the lead apron you wear when you have an X-Ray made. Thus, we provide the protection to the artwork that others make and help see that it survives by placing it with guardians who will carry it into the future.
DS: Can you tell me about your current gallery operations?
JB: We opened this location in Los Angles on the second floor off Robertson Boulevard about 8 months ago. The gallery has roughly 750 square feet, which is divided into three smaller gallery areas. We currently display photographs and other art prints on the walls throughout the spaces with the books and inventory in large bookcases, showcases and flatfiles below.
DS: What is your experience in selling fine art books and what services do you provide now?
JB: For the previous two and half years before opening this location, I was a private dealer in fine art books and prints here in Los Angeles. We currently specialize in fine art and photography books and related documents, and we have an expertise in fine art photography. We work with our clients to help them develop collections and libraries and will represent them at auctions. We are also very active at auctions on our own behalf.
Additionally, we use our gallery space to provide some exhibition venues, of which we have a couple ongoing now; i.e, Basquait Polaroids, Peter Beard, Eric Kroll, Weegee, Mapplethorpe and soon, Michel Evanet (a fashion photographer) We are very interested in exhibiting prints in conjunction with published books.
DS: Which is a great segway to how do you obtain your books for your gallery inventory, do you purchase them or do you take them on assignment?
JB: We do both. We purchase individual works or entire libraries. In fact we recently purchased the entire libraries of two well known photographers, Ralph Gibson and Leonard Freed. As to consignment, we work out the selling arrangements on a case by case situation, but we are very open to discussing the availability of fine art photography books.
DS: Jonathan, thank for your time and consideration and I wish you on-going success.
For more information, you can contact Jonathan at Leadapron, phone 310-860-1192 or visit the web site at www.leadapron.net
Best regards, Doug Stockdale