In the News Posted Oct 30, 2020

Wes Del Val, Book/Shop, and the #onegreatreader series

We’re delighted to share this interview with Arcana founder Lee Kaplan and Wes Del Val  for the One Great Reader series!
Book/Shop is a lovely store in Oakland, CA that we have admired for their thoughtful selection of out print books and charming biblio-themed merch. Please follow Wes’ #onegreatreader series for more interviews with the likes of Tosh Berman, Luc Sante, Sasha Frere Jones, James Crump, and more.
For his introduction to Lee’s interview Wes said: “Yes everything can be delivered to your door these days, but there is still nothing like seeing what an owner chooses to order for his shop, touch and look at what he decides to put out for his customers, talk to and ask questions of him, and then leave with what you bought, no waiting required. For years bookstores have been the only shops I am interested in going into and one of the absolute gems in America is Arcana: Books on the Arts. Owner Lee Kaplan has little free time outside of keeping the shop vital since 1984 so I feel very fortunate that he gave us our longest interview yet. 
Thanks to Wes, to our comrades at Book/Shop, and to all of you bibliophiles for your ongoing support of independent bookstores. 
In the News Posted Feb 08, 2020


Why, visit Arcana, of course! See more great suggestions from "Mr. Porter" here.


"If you can make it out to Culver City (and, do, because Lukshon and Father’s Office are awesome), Arcana bookstore in the old Helms bakery complex is one of the great bookstores in the world. It’s also a summons to a more sensual time, when we leafed through great big blocks of photography books, art books, architecture books, looking for we-knew-not-what, but always finding something incredible, something inspiring, something that we needed and held onto, other than our phones."


In the News Posted Jan 25, 2020

New York Times: Jen Mankins 5 Places to Shop in Los Angeles


See more of Jen's excellent picks - we're happy to be in such good company! from a woman of such amazing taste (Bird Brooklyn is THE BEST)- here.


4. Arcana: Books on the Arts “It’s an art book mecca,” Ms. Mankins says of this sunny, open bookstore in Culver City. Arcana has a deep inventory of new, rare and out-of-print books and catalogs on cinema, photography, architecture … well, everything including the kitchen sink. The proprietors, Lee and Whitney Kaplan, have been in the business for 35 years and can help locate obscure titles (a Joseph Kosuth, say) with pre-internet zeal. Book signings, receptions and discussions regularly fill up the space, often featuring young photographers and creative types. “They’re really supportive,” Ms. Mankins says. 

In the News Posted Nov 01, 2019

Outside The Frame Podcast with Lee Kaplan!

We invite you to listen to the Peter Fetterman Gallery podcast, "Outside the Frame". Their newly released second episode features our own Lee Kaplan discussing the shop's arcane history, the foundations of building a fine art book collection, the state of publishing and consumerism, and more. 

In addition, The Peter Fetterman Gallery is offering the wonderful "Find Your Book" challenge: buy a book, post about it,and you'll be entered to win a silver gelatin print by one of the gallery's artists! Details here.
In the News Posted Apr 01, 2019

Frame Magazine 03 Spring Summer 2019

"Local bookstores are becoming harder and harder to find, but it's not too late to rediscover the unique charms of touching, skimming, and smelling hile you browse. There's no place better to do so than Arcana Books, the Los Angeles institution which specializes in art books. Originally located in Santa Monica, Arcana shines in its larger Culver City space, which better accomodates their 100,000 title collection. And if that weren't enough, Arcana is the best bookstore in Los Angeles (or possibly the country) to source rare, out-of-print gems, like R. Crumb's Dream Diary of Ed Ruscha's Metro Mattresses."

In the News Posted Nov 20, 2018

Louis Vuitton City Guide

Thanks to Samantha Brooks, Stephanie Rafanelli, Andrea Richard, and Stephanie Theobald for including us in the Louis Vuitton Los Angeles city guide


In the News Posted May 20, 2018

Diane Keaton in PARADE

The wonderful and ever-supportive Diane Keaton mentioned us in Parade Magazine today!


In the News Posted Mar 05, 2018

Kneeland Co Voyages Podcast

If you ever thought Arcana boss Lee Kaplan was inscrutable, now’s your chance to have your mind changed. In the debut episode of her new podcast Voyages, client / collector / aesthete / textile consultant / traveler Joanna Williams (of - @jleighwms ) talks to Lee about the Arcana origin story and hears about how his love and reverence for the books he sells sometimes results in grumpy yelp reviews from badly behaved guests. Thank you, Joanna, for giving Lee this opportunity! You can listen to the episode at and subscribe to the Voyages podcast on itunes!

In the News Posted Oct 31, 2017

Vogue: 11 Reasons to Put L.A.’s Culver City on Your Must-Visit List

"Los Angeles’s Culver City—which celebrates its centennial this year—is probably best known as the home of Sony Pictures, NPR West, and the Helms Bakery complex. But as of late, design-centric businesses like Nike and Apple have moved into town, bringing with them an onslaught of aesthetically minded shops and restaurants. Though the neighborhood—which is just east of Santa Monica—is just a little over five square miles, its architecture is extremely varied, ranging from Renaissance Revival–style historic buildings (like the Culver Hotel) to architect Eric Owens Moss’s body of experimental office spaces that dominate the industrial Hayden Tract. And, unlike other parts of L.A., alternative transportation is a viable option—a bike path that runs along the Ballona Creek will take you from Culver City to the beach, and the L.A. metro will get you downtown in 40 minutes. Below, 11 more reasons you’ll want to visit Culver City."

5. Arcana: Books on the Arts

Situated within the former Helms Bakery complex (now home to the Helms Design Center) is this not-to-be-missed bookstore specialing in hard-to-find art, photography, fashion, architecture, and design books.


Photo: Courtesy of Catherine Dash


In the News Posted Oct 31, 2017

LAist: The 8 Best Niche Museums And Galleries In Los Angeles

The 8 Best Niche Museums And Galleries In Los Angeles


Los Angeles has its fair share of reputable art institutions. Places like LACMA, MOCA, the Broad, and the Getty (which is co-sponsoring the Pacific Standard Time LA/LA exhibit around Southern California) represent the typical ways of seeing and consuming art. But what if that type of consumption turns stale? What if you want to see art in a different type of space? Los Angeles has far more interesting and exciting places operating under the radar of the established art gate-keepers. Here are some of our favorites.


"Ok, so this one isn’t technically a museum or gallery. But the book collection at Arcana is so vast and so thorough that you’re likely to see and learn about far more art than you necessarily would at LACMA. It’s not a library, so if you want to take any books home you have to shell out some cold hard cash, but perusing the books while in the store is entertaining in and of itself. Photo books, artist biographies, museum exhibition catalogues, you name it—if there's an artist whose work you want to look at, it's likely Arcana has one or several books on the subject. The sheer breadth of possibilities in this store is staggering, and they regularly host book signings and discussions."