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."
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 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.
Thanks to Samantha Brooks, Stephanie Rafanelli, Andrea Richard, and Stephanie Theobald for including us in the Louis Vuitton Los Angeles city guide
The wonderful and ever-supportive Diane Keaton mentioned us in Parade Magazine today!
"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.
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 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."
"Since 1984, Arcana has been the place to go for new, rare and out-of-print books on 20th- and 21st-century photography, art, design, architecture, fashion, film and music. Arcana founders Lee and Whitney Kaplan worked with architecture firm Johnston Marklee to design this 4,500-square-foot space in Culver City’s historic Helms Bakery building. The bright, light-filled space is lined with tall black metal shelves, creating what Lee calls “a forest of books.” In addition to having 100,000 books to discover, Arcana hosts book signings and panel discussions, as well as a popular Book of the Day feature on its blog.
In May 2017, 99U included Arcana in its list of worldwide Best Design Bookstores."