This year's Photo San Francisco, the third such show was able to maintain its audience level despite a wild ride on the stock market prior to the show's opening. According to show promoter and photo dealer Stephen Cohen, the gate for the four days was just a hair above last year's show at 3,800 versus 3,700.
"All in all, I think it was a good show," Cohen told me. "Considering all that's happening it was fine. The show looked the best that it ever has and the opening reception was great...In this economy where everything like costs are rising and sales are not, flat is good."
Cohen concluded, "Some dealers had a moderate fair, and some did very well."
That was indeed a fair assessment. Several of the dealers either told us it was their best show ever or that they did very well. A significant number of others, including ourselves, had a much weaker show than last year, although our show last year was the best that we had ever done, so it may not be a fair comparison. There seemed to be less of the big buyers at the show this year, but those that did come were still very active in the lower and mid-level areas. Terry Etherton, Henry Feldstein, Paul Kopeikin, Galerie Pernkof, Northern Lights, Dave Winter, Scott Nichols (thanks for the key, Scott) and others reportedly had strong results.
While I did not get a chance to visit every booth, I particularly liked the Chicago Institute of Design material at Stephen Daiter's booth, the Sonya Noskowiak material at Paul Hertzmann's booth (he and Susan now represent the estate), the modernist material at Bruce Silverstein's booth, and the overall selection at Howard Greenberg's booth (always a strong group).
My particular thanks to fellow photo dealers Barry and Gretchen Singer (firstname.lastname@example.org ) for their wonderful and kind hospitality when my girlfriend Danielle and I came visiting their abode in Petaluma. By the way, their spacious gallery in Petaluma (7 Western Avenue) is simply great and they have some super images up on the walls. I thought a nature series of 10 images by Brett Weston that they had for sale was at a very reasonable price, considering that some of the individual prints might normally sell for half of the asking price for the group of ten.