Richard Prince is an artist. He’s also a famous collector of art, furniture, cars, and most of all, print. The contents behind this building is mind blowing. This is Prince’s personal library, an early 19th century brick building in Rensselaerville, NY. The materials he’s acquired through the years, range from the greatest literary works to the trashiest pulp novels. A 2007 Vanity Fair article gives us some insight into this shrine.
“The psychic epicenter of Richard Prince’s rural empire would have to be his “Library”—this 1821 brick building, located on a street corner in the town nearest to Prince’s upstate compound, is filled with a collection of mind-boggling worth. In a way, its contents tell you most of what you need to know about Richard Prince.
The Library is a climate-controlled shrine to midcentury hipster culture; it’s like the most exquisite bookstore on the planet, except nothing is for sale. On the ground floor you’ll find mint-condition first issues of Mad magazine, Playboy, and Zap Comix, and acres of Beat-sploitation paperbacks. You might well drool over photo books like Young London: Permissive Paradise, the “Do-It-Yourself Beatnik Kit,” the poster for a (canceled) Los Angeles concert by the Velvet Underground, and row upon row of artist monographs by the likes of Larry Clark, Ed Ruscha, Martin Kippenberger, and Christopher Wool. And, of course, Andy Warhol, with whom Prince shares more than a birthday.
Upstairs, locked behind thick metal doors designed to withstand a 14-hour fire, is the heart of Prince’s collection, ceiling-high shelves filled with ultra-rare inscribed editions of works by 20th-century literary icons such as Dashiell Hammett, William S. Burroughs, and Jack Kerouac, among countless others. (Prince has 65 versions of Lolita, including Vladimir Nabokov’s hand-corrected desk copy.)" Read More