» Art Brown International Pen Shop Closes in New York City

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Today is a sad day as the iconic Art Brown International Pen Shop forever closes its doors in New York City.

I’d only ever visited Art Brown on one occasion but that trip made a tremendous impression on me as it reminded me of the local stationery stores of my youth. For fountain pen lovers, this was *the* place to shop when visiting New York City with its ability to create an instant ear to ear grin at all of their available pen, paper and ink options.

Will you share your favorite memories of visiting Art Brown? What will you miss the most about this store?

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Posted on August 9th, 2013 by Stephanie
Filed in: Editorial
Tagged: ,, , , , , ,


I’ll miss that I’ll never have the chance to return to this store.

I was only there once, during my only visit to NYC. The wonderful @mabeloos escorted me around the city and, of course, I will never forget Art Brown.

Such a shame that another landmark is shutting down.

I Googled some pictures of the store. I’d never want to leave. Amazing. Sad they are going.

I grew up in NYC, and it was at my local stationary shop that I purchased my very first two fountain pens. A Pelikan 120 and a MontBlanc 122.

Losing stationary and pen shops really does make me very sad. The internet is wonderful, and I would not want to do without it now, but nothing beats being able to go to your local shop and smell the paper and try the pens.

The loss of Art Browns is very sad, for all of us who love paper and pens!

I’m sorry to hear this. I had been there several times when visiting NYC and picked up notebooks and ink and pens each time.

Bummer! When I lived in the City I would stop by regularly…often just to gawk (as unobtrusively as possible) but also to get all products papery. Their selection of both Rhodia and Clairfontaine notebooks was unparalleled. I knew they’d have what I sought. A loss, for sure. No other place like it.

I was just there. Bought a Sailor Chalana. Everything seemed normal. No indication there was anything brewing. Bought a pen there almost every month when I went into the city.Very sad.

Very sad! I stopped in almost every time I was in the neighborhood. I loved the people who ran the place and the terrific selection they had of paper and inks. There was no other store as nice as Art Brown.

By Howard Weissman on August 21st, 2013 at 3:47 pm

Sad to hear about the closing. I was plannin g on stopping by during my vacation in September to pick up several items at the store.

The people were always terriic to deal with.

I worked in NYC for over 12 years and loved the store, i used to buy one pen every couple of months form the less expensive to the high range. I moved overseas 6 years ago and i continue buying online and shiped to friends to bring over…. Today i made it back to NY and sadly stood infront of the store looking and the closed door with the sign:”Closed” taped to the window….. Art brown will always be my favorite store, the owners and the people that worked there made hand writing a pleasure…….

I had tried to place an order several times this summer, but the site was occupied by another company who had parked on it. Really made me frustrated. I was fearing the worst and now it is confirmed. This was my primary pen shop, and for a pen collector and ink enthusiast, this is a real loss. What happened? What is the company doing with all its stock? I will miss the people and the service. Very sad.

I just went over to them and realized they were closed. Now I see they are closed for good. That is so sad because I’ve bought well over so many pens and rollerballs from them. And I will miss their yearly pen show. Staff was excellent and they were very knowledgeable. Cyberspace shopping will never match a visit to Art Brown:(

I’m devastated, just learning of this today. It’s a kick in the solar plexus. Though I haven’t been there all that much or been able to buy that many pens from them, but the ones I did were — and are — significant. They were a hold-out for civility. I already miss them.

I’ve been a fountain pen user since childhood; I would watch my dad write his sermons with his Esterbrook! I was hooked! Public schools taught me penmanship, cursive writing! I sometimes think ink runs in my veins along with my blood! But then I discovered the two Palaces of Writing: Fountain Pen Hospital and Art Brown! I have a modest collection of fountain pens from both of those Pen Palaces and it hurts my heart to know that Art Brown will no longer be there! It is a sad time when the art of handwriting is fading from view and along with it, those sanctuaries of writing instruments that I frequented on a regular basis! An American institution is closing its doors and I, for one, shall miss it dearly!!

I was there on September 5th (and a few times before that since the closing)and all the merchandise is still in the store. On the website, it says you must contact them to order. I’ve found nothing about a liquidation sale online.

what a terrible new, I always visit Artbrown in my vacations in NY and love to try the rollers, ballpens and of course the fountain pens. I bought a few Lamys and Visconti, I hate to know about a place so pleasure that is closing, really so bad, so sad.

I loved this store and always visited when in NYC. I was planning a trip in October and they were on my calendar. What a shame.

This is a knife in my heart. Visited often; always left with something in hand. Countless pens, ink bottles, pads and calendars.

Great people! Marilyn – I’ll miss you!

My salute to all the giving that Marilyn and her staff gave over the many years. Marilyn herself, when we first met, showed me how to properly cap a fountain pen (you go up into the cap, never down into it). I’ll always be grateful for Art Brown’s retailing leadership and their kindness.

Best wishes,

Steve Leveen, CEO, Levenger

By Joel Millican on November 7th, 2013 at 9:06 am

I loved going in and talking with Mrs. Brown about ink and buying a bottle or two. We both thought Sailor fountain pens had the finest nib around.

By dennis Keeley on November 9th, 2013 at 1:48 pm

Went there religiously every time I was in NY…bought pens, refills, ink and went to the pen shows. I feel like the world that supports my writing has gotten a little smaller. I wish some things would just stay the same…

By Jennifer BB on November 17th, 2013 at 6:00 pm

Wow–just heard this news and can’t believe it! I’m from NYC and now live in Chicago and feel like I grew up on Art Brown. Nearly every member of my family has a fond memory of this venerable shop because I dragged them there–but they left with a new-found appreciation for a good pen or pencil or paper journal. What a sad moment for the fine-writing instrument business. All my best to the family and workers who kept it going over the years.

By nicolás montero on November 20th, 2013 at 9:09 pm

Art Brown fue siempre un lugar mítico. Lo conocí por primera vez hace unos 20 años cuando compré el dip pen de Hyseck.
en Diciembre pasado estuve y me arreglaron um plumín Conklin.
Será extrañado, sus vitrinas estaban llenas de instrumentos maravillosos y el pasear por NYC y no visitar Art Brown va a ser muy extraño.

I purchased my first fountain pen at Art Brown back around 1977 – an Alumimum Body
Waterman with a steel nib. At the time, the price was exhorbitant – about $ 20.

From that time on however, I was hooked and I became a regular.

I was there at every Pen Fair. I looked forward to getting their new catalogue to
see the new pens on the market.

I loved going into the shop – the displays
were wonderful, the pens works of art.

I will sorely miss the shop, Marilyn, Debbie and all the wonderful, helpful people who worked there.

RIP Art Brown.

You will be missed.

I am so sad that the shop has closed. And I am incredibly disappointed with myself that I was not enough in touch with the Art Brown folks to hear about the closing in time to make one last visit.

But for a few years away at school, I’ve lived in New York all my life. I used to work near the shop and would drop in occasionally—a great spot for browsing and about the only place I could get the Schmidt extra fine red rollerball refills that I needed. Most recent visit: purchased a venerable J. Herbin Rocker Style Wooden Ink Blotter and blotter paper.

I guess I feel like an equestrian during the era when blacksmiths were frequently closing and auto garages were frequently opening: good pen shops and their wares will still be around, but harder and harder to find. I suppose progressives should note those times when conservatives have a point.

By jose antonio tanure on December 23rd, 2013 at 8:02 am

Honestly I was extremely sense with the closing of the store! I’m from Brazil and one of the reasons I go to new york was the Brow Art. I loved the store and spent hours admiring all that was there. He was scheduling me to buy ink cartridges now in January 2014. I do not know what to do! Where did they go? Just closed? Finished to the site!

I can’t believe Art Brown is closed. When we lived in NY and I worked in Manhattan, I had the great pleasure of working only two blocks from this wonderful writer’s treasure trove. The first time I walked into the store and found shelves loaded with jars of ink in every color, every ink maker, pens of every sort and price, and a knowledgeable staff capable of answering any writing question, I knew I’d stumbled on one of those “only in New York” experiences. When my job took me from NYC in 2008, I continued to order supplies from AB and made sure to visit the store on any return trips. What a loss. What a sad indication of where the digital world is dragging us.

It is amazing how some stores become go-to places when you visit a city ~ this was one of them. Another go-to store for me in New York was Manny’s Music. Now it seems both are closed. I purchase several pens from Art Brown. On one occasion I am sure the salesman spent a good hour and a half with me. A New York lawyer would have cost $1,500 for much less valuable advice ~ I got off easy and still to this day enjoy my purchase. Not sure what happened but I hope, like a Phoenix, they can rise from the ashes again and be that go-to store travellers like me love to enjoy.

I worked in NYC for many years and spending my lunch taking with the wonderful people at Art Brown was a treat. Granted the pens were the show, but the people made the show special. I happen to love pens and approximately 80% of them were purchased at Art Brown.
Art Brown you will be missed and I wish all of the wonderful people who worked there all the best.

By Michael Francis on August 24th, 2014 at 8:35 pm

I was not aware that the store had closed, so I was pretty shocked last week when I was in the city. The sign was still up even though the store was empty. I was only there once, but am sad they are closed.

By Stephen Surfaro on September 17th, 2014 at 11:27 pm

From GrafvFC to Conway Stewart, Art Brown’s was a wonderful oasis and a happy stop for me after a visit to Rock Center or the Second Ave Deli. As many have said here, it is the people that make the store and experience; may you always have the happiness you gave us.



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