About McGaw Graphics
FOUR DECADES OF ART
The origins of McGaw Graphics, Inc. (MGI) start in 1976 when Bruce McGaw was employed as a sales representative for Mitch Morse Galleries in New York City, calling on galleries in the Northeast. During his time at Mitch Morse, Bruce grew to appreciate the fine art poster as he sensed that it was an authentic, inexpensive form of art, and there was potential to create a business to support this vision. In 1978, Bruce and Nancy McGaw officially started the business out of their Brooklyn Heights apartment. Both Bruce and Nancy shared a deep passion for art and began the basis for McGaw with the mission, “To fill the world with great art at affordable prices.” The premise was simple: Posters provided access to amazing art that is high-quality yet affordable. There were no pretenses to posters as there was no intrinsic value other than the pleasure that came from enjoying the artwork. At first, the business was straightforward, with MGI buying posters from museums and galleries and reselling them to poster and frame shops up and down the East Coast — from Boston to Washington, D.C. Bruce would conduct sales on the road and visit customers, and Nancy would work the phones from their apartment in New York. After the first year in business, McGaw was carrying about 100 different poster titles in the line, and the inventory remained small enough that it was stored under their platform bed. As the company grew, they opted to rent another apartment in the same building to store more inventory.
The first catalog with 16 pages was published in 1979 for Art Expo in New York and began the foray into publishing besides distribution with four artists. The initial releases were two R.C. Gorman’s, a Jerry Schurr (which became an industry top-seller) and a poster of a Japanese woodblock print by Kuniteru. The move into publishing would transform the business over the next 30 years. In the early ’80s, the McGaws expanded their catalog. By 1983, the 16-page catalog had grown to more than 300 pages. At the time, that was massive. Publishing, too, had grown. They were publishing about 25 new posters per year.
At the same time, they had established offices at 230 Fifth Avenue, New York City, moving into a 1,500-square-foot facility. Over the next several years they would move numerous times to increasingly larger quarters in the same building. In 1987, they became the building’s largest tenant, with 13,000 square feet of offices. Distribution took place off-site in Rockland County, N.Y.
By the mid-’80s MGI was firmly established as the industry’s leading poster company. It continued to grow, as did the size of the catalog, the depth of the collection, the customer base and the commitment to publishing. At the time, it was responsible for publishing such well-known contemporary artists as the versatile Antonio Peticov, landscapists Jerry Schurr and Marcus Uzilevsky, collagist William Gatewood, still-life art- ists Sara Eyestone, Margo Goodwill, Steven Kenny and Mickey Myers. In the genre of photography, Bruce McGaw Graphics was publishing work from Richard Avedon, Betsy Cameron, Kenn Duncan, Harvey Edwards, Robert Farber, Dick Durrance and Carlos Spaventa. Other artists included romantic figurativists Giancarlo Impiglia and Ty Wilson, sports artist Terry Rose and abstract artist Elba Alvarez.
Since the beginning, MGI has done extensive business internationally. During the 1980s, the company was selling posters to customers in 63 countries. To continue to develop the international business, the company formed a United Kingdom subsidiary in 1989 —King & McGaw — to distribute its catalog in the U.K. with its longtime customer Gyr King. At the same time, Bruce McGaw Graphics Canada was established under the leadership of Jim Rowlandson. Additionally, King & McGaw France was founded with Andy Graham in 1992. These subsidiaries were spun off prior to the acquisition of the assets in 2009. Today, McGaw Graphics has distribution relationships with King & McGaw and Bruce McGaw Graphics Canada.
In 1995, Bruce McGaw Graphics, USA moved out of Manhattan to a new 45,000-square-foot building. The custom-designed facility in West Nyack, N.Y., was located 45 minutes north of Manhattan and houses offices, distribution and warehousing.
In 1997, Bruce McGaw Graphics acquired Poster Originals Limited (POL), a firm established in 1968 that had long been known as the premier museum poster publisher and distributor. The acquisition of POL catapulted Bruce McGaw Graphics’ already extensive museum collection to the status of the most comprehensive museum collection in North America.
In 2009, the business assets of Bruce McGaw Graphics, Inc. were aquired and its name changed to McGaw Graphics, Inc.. Over the next two years, the business was relocated to Southwest Vermont. In 2012, McGaw Graphics purchased various assets of Apple Jack Art Partners through a bankruptcy sale.
McGaw Graphics continues to publish poster art from it’s Sunderland, Vt., headquarters, doing business with thousands of customers in 35 countries.
McGaw Graphics, Inc.
6378 Route 7A
Sunderland, VT 05250 USA
tel: (888) 426-2429
fax: (802) 549-5463