[EVG photo from 2015]
Sad news via the EVG inbox this morning...
New York Central — one of the oldest art supply stores in the country — has announced it will be going out of business due to poor business conditions and it’s building being sold. The store, which has been in continuous operation at 62 Third Avenue since 1905, is losing its month to month lease at the end of September.
Founded in 1905 by Benjamin Steinberg, the store has been run by the Steinberg family for more than 3 generations. Benjamin’s son Harold (whose brother Gilbert went on to open Lee’s Art Shop which also recently closed) took over in the 1940s. The store’s most recent President, Steven Steinberg, started working at the store in the 1950s and took over in the early 1970s. He built the store into a mainstay of modern artists, and added a world-renowned paper department. His sister Marcia Norins worked there as well, running New York Central Framing, which closed in 2012. Steven Steinberg recently passed away in November of 2015 after a lengthy battle with Parkinson’s Disease, and his sister Marcia passed away from Cancer in July of 2015.
“We’ve held on as long as we could out of loyalty to our long-time staff and amazing customers, but the business was not set up to survive current economic conditions,” said Barrie Steinberg, Steven’s daughter.
The store's customer list over the years has read like a who's who of modern artists, including Andy Warhol, Willem deKooning, Frank Stella, Larry Rivers, Cecily Brown, Keith Haring and many more, but in recent years the store has faced tremendous challenges from the rise of online shopping and the infiltration of national chain stores.
“In a world where people can get what they need shipped to their door with the tap of a finger, Central’s old-world charm and personal service was both a blessing and a curse,” said Doug Steinberg, Steven’s son. “It’s very emotional for everyone. I’ve known most of the employees since i was a boy. I really hope another store realizes how amazing they are and offers them a new opportunity”
The store plans on remaining open throughout the summer as it liquidates current inventory.