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Book Shop at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art

Posted by Gestalten—12/2006

What is the Baltic and what role does the bookshop play within the gallery?
Housed in a landmark industrial building on the south bank of the River Tyne in Gateshead, BALTIC is the biggest gallery of its kind in the world – presenting a dynamic, diverse and international programme of contemporary visual art.

BALTIC Shop helps support the educational and exhibition programme, but since opening has become a destination in itself. It is the largest specialist art bookshop in the North.

When did the bookshop open it's doors?
July 2002

How do you curate your selection?
Our selection is driven by the exhibition programme primarily, but because we are the only specialist art bookshop in the area we have extended our selection to include architecture, design, graphics and fashion. We are a contemporary art gallery so the feel of the shop is also obviously very contemporary – no old masters!

Have you noticed an increase in web sales since the shop opened?
We don’t provide an online service at the moment – this will go live in January 07. The shop page on our website was redesigned this year to show more of our products and this has had a significant impact on mail order sales. We expect this to increase further when the shop goes properly online.

How do you attract customers to the shop in between shows?
The gallery has four exhibition floors and so it is rare that all floors are closed but when there isn’t much to see we make sure we do some marketing and either have events or something going on to bring people into BALTIC.

What's the best thing about the Baltic shop?
The staff of course! Also, the design. It was redesigned in 2005 by Kit Grover. Before this it was a great space but was a little dull. Kit redesigned all the furniture and the feel of the place has completely changed – its now light and bright and feels more contemporary.

What's your bestselling exhibition catalogue?
Spank the Monkey – really!

What's your favourite dgv book?
That’s difficult, I really like Illusive but I’m easily seduced by a nice cover so am liking FriendsWithYou Have Powers! at the moment, Hidden Track is also a fave.

Who's your most famous customer?
Ant and Dec, but we also had someone from Star Wars in last week but I didn’t recognise him!

Details of opening hours and access and anything else not covered...
We open 10:00 until 18:00 every day.
Telephone number 0191 440 4947
Email shop [at]

BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art
Gateshead Quays, South Shore Road
Gateshead NE8 3BA