La Jolla—based music-photography retailers Morrison Hotel Galleries signed a lease on February 29, taking over the Manhattan space previously occupied by legendary New York punk club CBGB. In addition to galleries in La Jolla and Los Angeles, this will be its third location.
According to Rich Horowitz (who founded Morrison Hotel Gallery in 2001 with record exec Peter Blachley and photographer Henry Diltz), the new gallery will open by April if all goes according to plan. The first major exhibition will take place in May, featuring the works of photographer Bob Gruen and will include a selection of photos shot at CBGB.
“We had read that the [CBGB] space was becoming available, so we checked on it,” says Horowitz, who cofounded the local Off the Record shop in 1978. “Turns out we were already on the realtor’s list of possible tenants because of the music connection.”
The area formerly occupied by the club has been renovated into a 3000-square-foot storefront. Horowitz says, “We kept the walls of the bathroom intact, as is. With all that graffiti and history up there, it’s the coolest thing.”
In related news, last week, Morrison Hotel Galleries inked a deal with Sony Music to represent their photo archive. Over 100 years’ worth of unpublished images from the vaults of Columbia, Mercury, BMG, Epic, and dozens of other music labels are included. Plans are for theme shows based around the photographs with the possibility of book collections in the future.
– Bart Mendoza