Lame Duck Books, age 6, is expected to pass away sometime in April 2011, after a longtime battle against financial hemorrhaging. The Cambridge native was born in September 2004 on 10 Arrow St. Since then, Lame Duck has devoted its life to providing a space for collectors to purchase and peruse rare books and manuscripts. Even in its final days, Lame Duck continues to pride itself on its array of poetry, rare literature, and history in a cornucopia of languages. In 2008, Lame Duck sold a first-edition copy of Vladimir Nabokov’s “Lolita” to a London-based bookseller for $50,000.
Pierre Menard Gallery, Lame Duck’s fraternal twin, is also likely to expire in the coming spring. In addition to providing the basement out of which Lame Duck operates, Pierre Menard has worked to display unique works of art to the public over the last six years. In 2008, Pierre Menard held a show displaying German artist Heide Hatry’s sculptures of human heads made entirely of real pigskin.
Lame Duck and Pierre Menard are survived by their father, John W. Wronoski. Initially, Wronoski had hoped to create a symbiosis between literature and art when he set up Lame Duck and Pierre Menard side by side. However, he soon found that few people were interested in merchandise, as it was common for entire days to pass without a single customer. “It proved that showing art in Cambridge didn’t have any commercial potential at all,” he said.
“I had to figure out a way to staunch the bleeding,” said Wronoski, of his plan to say goodbye to Lame Duck and Pierre Menard. Wronoski has no desire to resurrect his two children in another location.