The Last Bookstores: Americas Resurgent Independents
Photographs by Bryan David Griffith
January 8, 2015-March 1, 2015
Members' Talk 6:15 with Bryan David Griffith on January 10, 2015
Opening reception Jan 10, 2015 7 PM
Bryan David Griffith explores America’s remaining independent bookstores. In this age when on-line retailers dominate the book ordering terrain, Griffith examines the remaining independents to see what marks their resilience and questions our future should they go away.
Griffith’s series, The Last Bookstores, is featured in the Atelier Gallery at the Griffin Museum January 8 through March 1, 2015. An opening reception with the artists takes place on January 10, 7-8:30 p.m. Magdalena Solé has a gallery talk and tour of Mississippi Delta at 4:00 PM. Brandon Thibodeaux has a gallery talk and tour of When Morning Comes at 5 PM. Bryan David Griffith has a members’ talk on his exhibition The Last Bookstores at 6:15 PM. The talks are FREE.
“The booksellers I met are passionately committed to sustaining their local communities and keeping the flame of literary culture alive’” says Griffith. “Far from giving up, they’re fighting back,” he says.
“The American Bookseller’s Association, which represents most independents, grew from 1,410 member stores in 2010 to 1,632 in 2013—a fraction of the 5,200 stores in 1991,” says Griffith. “This is the first steady increase in 20 years. Is this the dawn of a remarkable comeback, or a heroic last stand for independent bookstores?” asks Griffith.
Bryan David Griffith lives in Flagstaff, Arizona. He studied engineering at the University of Michigan and followed a career in consulting. Feeling unfulfilled in his job he has pursued a nomadic life and the life of a photographer. He has exhibited world wide including the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and the Phoenix Art Museum. His work is held in public and private collections such as the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the Fort Wayne Museum of Art.
Like the book industry, the last decade has been a time of turmoil for photographers. In keeping with the theme of books—an elegant, functional, and affordable technology threatened by an ever-changing parade of electronic gadgetry—Griffith photographed this project using cameras without electronics on large and medium-format film, a slow but superlative craft in jeopardy. Two of the films he used to create these images have since been discontinued.