Shopper's Diary: Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction in Philadelphia by

Issue 26 · London Family Life · June 30, 2011

Shopper's Diary: Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction in Philadelphia

Issue 26 · London Family Life · June 30, 2011

Filled with an idiosyncratic mix of homewares, art, books, and clothing, Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction is a store in Old City Philadelphia with a strong sense of place. Named for a 1936 essay by German philosopher Walter Benjamin, Art in the Age aims to make art accessible without sacrificing value in the quality or intellectual rigor of the work. The store functions as a sort of artists' collective, nurturing talent in arts and crafts, music, and writing. Many products are handcrafted in Pennsylvania, from quilts and spoons to greeting cards and local wildflower honey. To fulfill its mission of making nontraditional art accessible, the store hosts regular art shows and musical performances by members of its own collective and beyond. Go to Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction for more information.

Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, Philadelphia

Above: The Art in the Age eye-and-compass logo hangs discreetly beneath an aging industrial sign in Old City Philadelphia.

Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, Philadelphia

Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, Philadelphia

Above: The store's "Eyechart" logo adorns the front door.

Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, Philadelphia

Above: Incandescent bulbs and polished wood floors conjure an old-school vibe.

Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, Philadelphia

Above: Art in the Age has made every effort to retain its building's original brick and interior details.

Desk Caddy, Peg and Awl, Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

Above: The Peg and Awl Desk Caddy is constructed of old-growth pine reclaimed from floor joists of several 1800s-era Philadelphia homes; $70.

Message in a Bottle Vase, Peg and Awl, Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

Above: The Message in a Bottle Vase by Peg and Awl holds glass vials intended for flowers; one vial comes with a heart-adorned scroll awaiting a message for your loved one; $50.

Hands Stationary, Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

Above: Hands Stationery depicts the letters A-I-T-A (for Art in the Age), printed in Philadelphia on an original Heidelberg letterpress; $6 each.



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