It has been another confusing day in the world of print publication. As we work to get the March/April edition ready for design here at Afterimage, we have been informed that yet another prominent art publication has fallen victim to the seemingly endless recession.
Art on Paper, the New York-based magazine devoted exclusively to covering works on paper, has temporarily ceased publication.
The Print Collectors Newsletter was founded in the late 1960s under the direction of Jacqueline Brody and provided collectors of limited edition prints, photography, and artists’ books with a respectable resource. Gabriella Fanning purchased the newsletter in 1996 and changed its name to On Paper, expanding its coverage to include drawings. Two years later, it became Art on Paper, a full-color magazine.
Ever since, the publication has been internationally known for its commitment to works of all periods. With a readership of over 40,000 and including work by many of today’s prominent artists and critics, “the magazine’s absence will leave an important segment of the art world . . . unattended at a difficult time,” says co-publishers Shelly Bancroft and Peter Nesbett.
“All of [their] efforts to ride out the recession (reducing the magazine’s size [to cut] printing costs in half, laying off staff, creating other revenue streams) have proved inadequate in compensating for the sixty-five percent drop in advertising revenue [they] experienced over the past year and a half,” they go on to say in an email of January 29, 2010.
It is their hope that in the year to come, the economy will improve and “someone new will come along and revive the publication, either in print or digital form.” For now, if you are a subscriber, they ask that you email firstname.lastname@example.org for response to your questions and the detailed efforts they are making on your behalf.
The written word has taken many body blows in the past decade, but all of us here at Afterimage hope that with the diligence of its countless curators and the intrinsic resiliency of our language, that art publications can muster the strength to throw some meaningful counter-punches in the years to come.
David Yockel Jr. is a graduate student in Creative Writing at The College at Brockport and an editorial intern for Afterimage.