|BEN KINMONT BOOKSELLER WE SPECIALIZE IN ANTIQUARIAN BOOKS ON GASTRONOMY
I entered the world of antiquarian books while working with Jonathan Hill, a specialist in the history of science in New York City. During my ten years with Jonathan, I had the opportunity to handle the first editions of authors such as Copernicus, Vesalius, Agricola, Brahe, Kircher, Galileo, Kepler, Euler, and Darwin, and developed my love for the history of printing. We also bought and sold antiquarian bibliography and this afforded me an overview of the history of book collecting. Throughout my time working for Jonathan, however, I was also an artist and exhibited at galleries and museums in Europe and the United States.
In 1998, I started Ben Kinmont Bookseller as an art project. The idea came out of my discussions with people on the street while conducting various art projects, as well as my research surrounding an exhibition I had curated three years earlier entitled The Materialization of life into alternative economies. This exhibition considered the various ways artists worked with economic structures that were alternative to a gallery system of representation and distribution. I also realized that in order to pursue my project work, I had to be financially independent from the art world.
The book selling project is entitled Sometimes a nicer sculpture is to be able to provide a living for your family (see the colophon of my catalogues) and it has been included in various museum and gallery exhibitions. The business specializes in 15th to early 19th century books about food and wine, domestic and rural economy, health, perfume, and the history of taste. The business issues an average of one printed catalogue per year and several electronic lists. We also attend all major gastronomy auction sales as well as participate annually in the antiquarian book fairs in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, New York, London, York, and Paris. We work regularly with librarians as well as private clients from around the world and are happy to receive your desiderata and help you with collection development.
In 2003 we moved from New York City to Sebastopol, California, where we welcome visitors by appointment. If you would like to join our mailing list and receive our newsletters, please subscribe here.
I am a member of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America, Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association, and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers.
Ben Kinmont, 2021