Fine Books

I took the photograph below during one of my walks around Manhattan. Leo Weitz opened a rare book business in 1909. I don’t know if the storefront I photographed (on Lexington Avenue at about 90th Street) is his original place of business or even if it is still there, 20+ years after I took the picture.

According to New York Magazine, Herbert Weitz, Leo’s son, who ran the shop pictured below, was such an interesting character that John Turturro taped his conversations and later gave Herbert a part in his movie, Mac.*

Photograph: Bookstore - Leo Weitz, Upper Lexington Ave, near 90th St

Leo Weitz Fine Books – Reference Photograph

Today’s watercolor experiment:

I never met Mr. Weitz, but I love the character of this storefront, set in to an ornate building facade.

I am still working with 4″x6″ smooth paper which is ideal for ink. Here is my ink sketch of Leo Weitz, Fine Books.

Ink Sketch: Leo Weitz Fine Books - Madison Ave, NYC

Fine Books – Ink Sketch

The trouble with black and white photographs is: no color reference. I guessed at the colors. It was probably a good bet that the building was gray or some shade of brown.

Watercolor: Leo Weitz Fine Books - Madison Ave, NYC

Fine Books – Madison Avenue
4″x6″ 140# Mixed Media Paper

But colors are not important in this study. The narrow tonal range and low contrast of this composition is why I like this piece.




2 thoughts on “Fine Books

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