An East Village Boutique Where the Avant-Garde Gathered

Knobkerry was a shop and gallery where Ornette Coleman hung out and Janis Joplin shopped. It is the subject of a new book and museum exhibition.

It was back in 2017 that Svetlana Kitto, a Columbia University-trained oral historian who writes frequently about art, was researching a catalog for “Objects/Time/Offerings,” an installation at the Gordon Robichaux gallery by the artist Ken Tisa and found herself repeatedly encountering the name Sara Penn? Who was she?

Those with a long memory for fashion may recall Sara Penn as proprietor of a boutique called Knobkerry. A pioneering shop on Seventh Street in the East Village, it opened in the mid-1960s to sell clothes, jewels

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