The well-curated store No. 1: Hermitage Beacon of Brooklyn

First in an occasional series, as part of a general Arthur effort to combat the ongoing, escalating de-bookshopping of our planet by bringing attention to particular exquisite stores’ existence and reason for being…

buyafuckingbook

From the Hermitage Beacon website:

Hermitage is located in Beacon NY alongside the Hudson River 60 miles north of Manhattan. The actual structure is a house nearly 100 years old. It resides between a Spanish church and two coal silos no longer in use. In the near background lies a defunct railroad track and a creek which empties out into the Hudson. Mt. Beacon stands in the background of all this. This description was a signal to come here and plant seeds.

What is Hermitage?

Hermitage is a context. It was created from a lack of situations and spaces where books, art, & culture are gathered, displayed, and presented in a way that goes further than curation. The feeling is more of intention. To create a space that a specific one would choose to be a part of instead of remaining quiet for lack there of.

As a bookshop the focus is heavy on American poetry between the 1950s-60s. The small press movement that centered around the Don Allen-edited anthology “The New American Poetry” published by Grove Press in 1960 is heavily represented here. American Luminaries such as Robinson Jeffers and Kenneth Patchen who preceded these poets are represented here. American underground renegades who didn’t fit into a grouping like Wallace Berman and d.a. levy are represented here. The feeling of what has been done in America in the 20th Century that is beautiful and against restraint of conforming to conservative social, political and religious norms is present here. European writing from the early to mid 20th Century in original tongue and translations are given a space alongside in their influence and relation. Art monographs and books designed by visual artists who were tapped into poets and correspondence amongst poets and other artists are found here.

The idea behind running a bookshop like this is to hand pick every book that is chosen to a part of a collection, and made available to anyone who may walk through the door. To shed light on materials that should be seen. An area of Hermitage is designated to exhibits on specific Presses, Books, and moments in time related to the collection, and having them right alongside the bookshop. Artists working in the form and concept of the book, and making new worthy additions to this tradition are given shows here to be a part of this lineage. Close comrade and maker of books, Kensie Duffy currently working in this area, has stated his two primary principles in his book works to be “modesty & dignity”.

“Yes I’ll Buy That”

Modesty and dignity are two principles that are key to the practice of Hermitage.

– Jon Beacham. Proprietor.

Official Hermitage Beacon website: hermitagebeacon.com

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

About Jay Babcock

I am the co-founder and editor of Arthur Magazine (2002-2008, 2012-13) and curator of the three Arthur music festival events (Arthurfest, ArthurBall, and Arthur Nights) (2005-6). Prior to that I was a district office staffer for Congressman Henry A. Waxman, a DJ at Silver Lake pirate radio station KBLT, a copy editor at Larry Flynt Publications, an editor at Mean magazine, and a freelance journalist contributing work to LAWeekly, Mojo, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Vibe, Rap Pages and many other print and online outlets. An extended piece I wrote on Fela Kuti was selected for the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2000 anthology. In 2006, I was one of five Angelenos listed in the Music section of Los Angeles Magazine's annual "Power" issue. In 2007-8, I produced a blog called "Nature Trumps," about the L.A. River. Today, I live a peaceful life in the rural wilderness of Joshua Tree, California, where I am a partner in JTHomesteader.com with Stephanie Smith.

4 thoughts on “The well-curated store No. 1: Hermitage Beacon of Brooklyn

  1. Nice of you guys to come across the Hermitage site, but they’ve actually been closed for a few months now. Yes, another one of the good ones bit the dust.

  2. Update:

    Hermitage Returns

    I am happy to announce that Hermitage has found a new residence.
    Since closing its door in Beacon at the end of June, I have been down
    in the city trying to put together what would be the next step for
    Hermitage. The search is over, and the new space is set up.
    Dan Morris at The Arm in Brooklyn has been beyond
    helpful in making this happen. Many thanks to Dan for giving me a
    place to lay my head for a while during this transition.

    Everything about the new location is even more focused and efficient
    than 12 Tioronda Avenue. I clean slated nearly all of the books upon
    closing, and have rebuilt a new collection which I am proud of. One that
    builds upon what people knew Hermitage for, and which goes into new
    directions that I am excited about. The letterpress studio here has the addition
    of a new map press I am eager to get working on, alongside the Vandercook.
    New publications will be a priority along with ephemera and art works.

    Hours are by appointment. I do not mean this as someone who says this on
    Madison Avenue and 64th Street. I am here. If you want to come let me know.
    The door is open and all are welcome. The storefront experience proved too
    time consuming and not cost efficient. This space is a studio where I work and
    have all the books. It is warm and welcoming.

    A beautiful new website has been made by JiaJia Fei to show where Hermitage
    is currently. Please take a moment to check it out.

    Thank you all, and its good to be back.

    -Jon Beacham


    35 Meadow Street Suite 307
    Brooklyn NY 11206
    347-422-0395

    http://www.hermitagebeacon.com

  3. Pingback: Sat Nov 7, Brooklyn: HERMITAGE BEACON re-opens - ARTHUR MAGAZINE – WE FOUND THE OTHERS

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