RIP Art on Paper


 Shelly Bancroft and Peter Nesbett, publishers of Art On Paper, one of my favorite art journals, have recently announced that they are ceasing publication. The project was founded in the late 1960s as The Print Collectors Newsletter and for more than twenty-five years, under the direction of Jacqueline Brody, it provided collectors of limited edition prints, photography, and artists’ books with a highly respected resource. In 1996, the newsletter was purchased by Gabriella Fanning, who changed its name to On Paper, expanded its coverage to include drawings, and converted it to a journal format. Two years later, in 1998, the publication became Art on Paper, a full-color magazine. It maintained an editorial commitment to works of all periods, from Old Master drawings to contemporary multiples. Many  prominent art critics and art writers have written for Art on Paper including Tim Griffin, Nancy Princenthal, Holland Cotter, Arthur Danto and Vicki Goldberg. (via)

Here’s an excerpt from their email notification.

“Emotionally, this has been very hard for us. We know, for instance, that the magazine’s absence will leave an important segment of the art world – namely, publishers of limited editions prints, multiples, and artists’ books – unattended at a difficult time. Nevertheless, all of our efforts to ride out the recession (reducing the magazine’s size and thereby cutting our printing costs in half, laying off staff, creating other revenue streams) have proved inadequate in compensating for the 65% drop in advertising revenue we experienced over the past year and a half.

“We want you to know that we did not go gently. In addition to making drastic changes to our daily operations, and exploring a variety of long-term strategic options, we also spent six months looking for new financing, possibly even a new owner. We set January 15, 2010 as a final deadline. When that date arrived without an investment, we had to close shop. It is certainly our hope that six to twelve months from now, when the economy has improved, someone new will come along and revive the publication, either in print or digital form.”

Read an interview with  Shelly Bancroft and Peter Nesbett here.

Note to out-of-work art critics: This would be an excellent project to revive as a blogozine.


  1. That is really really unfortunate. I always enjoyed Art on Paper, although not so much their recent reduction in size format (understandable as it was)They will be missed.

  2. Sadness. My favorite art magazine!

  3. thanks for the info – hadn't realized. Good mag –

  4. "Note to out-of-work art critics: This would be an excellent project to revive as a blogozine."

    Well if you have any suggestions how I can get "publishers of limited editions prints, multiples, and artists' books" to send me free copies of things so that I can review them I would consider your suggestion. Otherwise, I would assume that "out-of-work art critics" don't have the time or money to take over Art On Paper's mission.

  5. For critics to pick up where Nesbett and Bancroft have left off some creative thinking and a love of the subject matter would certainly be required. If everyone were as narrow-minded and pessimistic as EAGEAGEAG seems to be, we'd still be in the Stone Age.

  6. You are so right William. Why don't you provide a link to your generous and optimistic art or writing or whatever it is you do to promote life in the 21st century and we can all bathe in its life affirming glory.

    Good solid writing in the field of art criticism is something we need more of and and I am pointing out how it is becoming increasingly impossible, from a purely financial perspective, for the field to flourish no less continue.

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