Swann Galleries: A View From the Podium

- by Announcement, Rare Book Hub staff


Nicholas and George Lowry

As another unprecedented year draws to a close, I find myself looking backward with nostalgia, and forward in anticipation. 

2022 was many things for us here at Swann. Contrary to expectations we have emerged from the pandemic stronger than when it began. Our sales are robust. Our staff continues diligently cataloguing material and mounting exhibitions operating on a hybrid schedule that is helping us balance our work and our personal lives. To that end we still have not reinstated auctions in person, and by all accounts it seems to be working just fine. 

We set numerous records across all of our different departments with impressive results coming in for sales of African American Art, Photographs, Contemporary Art, Modern & Post-War Art, Printed & Manuscript Americana, Early Printed Books, Vintage Posters, 19th & 20th Century Art, and more. At the end of the summer we conducted our fourth LGBTQ+ auction, which turned in another strong result. Its continued success has been a true source of pride for all of us. 

This was also the year that Christine von der Linn, after 29 incredible years working at Swann, will be leaving the house to explore new avenues and opportunities. From her time working closely with art books—and then illustration art—she has always brought a level of knowledge of the material and the market that matched only her joy at working with our clients. We wish her well on her new endeavors, but also know she will remain part of the Swann family wherever her professional life takes her. 

In another milestone, 2022 is also the last year that we will be occupying our 5th floor premises.

That’s right, in 2023 Swann Galleries is poised to move onwards and upwards. Literally: come February or March you will no longer find us on the 5th floor but rather in a brand new space on the 7th floor of our building. To be clear, we are keeping our 6th floor gallery. (Although watch out for some great renovations there as well!)

Swann expanded to the 5th floor in the year 2000, which allowed us to grow, take on more staff and develop new departments. It has been an incredible two decades in which Swann has grown almost threefold in revenue and even more in reputation. Moving to a new floor won’t give us any more space than we’ve already had, but it will be a state-of-the-art, mindfully-designed work space, where exhibitions, auctions, storage, work flow and energy will all be augmented. We are all looking forward to this change as something innovative, exciting, and momentous.  

We wouldn’t be where we are without the continued support of our consignors, bidders, friends and families, and we thank you all for your support and for making 2022 the great year it was. 

I also would be remiss not to thank the indefatigable Swann staff who have worked so hard and helped continue to propel this company forward. They make it a pleasure to come to work every day and I can only hope that their professionalism, curiosity, knowledge, care and expertise makes all of your interactions with Swann that much better. 

Stay tuned for wonderful things from us in 2023.

— Nicholas D. Lowry, President, Swann Galleries