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March 5, 2006 - A German Publisher Finds An American Market

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Book Wrangler

March 6, 2006

By Bob Patterson


Rather than a column about a book or a particular writer, this week we will do a look at a European publisher that has expanded into the American market and is producing an impressive assortment of items.


Taschen got started when 18 year old Benedikt Taschen opened a store for comic book collectors and published one titled Sally Forth.


In 1984, Benedikt bought 40,000 copies of a book in English about the painter Magritte and combined with a book of photos by Annie Leibovitz, and a budge priced item for architectural buffs, the scope of the Taschen mission statement was expanded.  Those risky moves paid off well. 


By 2005, the Taschen summer catalogue was a slick 120 page Time-magazine-sized publication that was lavishly illustrated.


For architecture fans Taschen has volumes such as Aalto, Gropius, Neutra, Scharoun, Schindler, and Wright.


For art buffs Taschen has books about Dali, Picasso, Van Gogh, Cezanne, Chagall, Kandinsky, Matisse, Miro, and Schiele.


People who are interested in Design will find a nice selection of pertinent items.


In the realm of cinema they offer books that look at Movies of the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s.  They also have volumes that study film by genre such as Erotic Cinema and Film Noire, and looks at the works of various directors such as Michelangelo Antonioni, Federico Fellini, John Ford, Alfred Hitchcock, Michael Mann, Francois Truffaut, Paul Verhoeven, and Billy Wilder.


The Taschen books that would catch the eyes of photographers will include collections honoring Brassai, Edward S. Curtis, Man Ray, Willy Ronis, and Edward Weston.  They also have The Polaroid Book, which includes reproductions of famous examples of the one of a kind art that type of camera produces.


In the category of pop culture they have a series that collects the American advertising for the decade from the Twenties to the Eighties.


In the area of adult themed books they have books that look at the Men’s Magazine phenomenon to an examination of the works of Tom of Finland who was a pioneering illustrator in the gay world.


John Kennedy once said “Ich bin ein Berliner.”


Now, if the disk jockey will play Wayne Newton’s song, Danke schoen, we’ll be outta here for this week.  Have a great week.




Copyright 2006 - Robert Patterson

Email the author at worldslaziestjournalist@yahoo.com



Editor's Note:


On the door of the Taschen offices here in Los Angeles, in Hollywood, at Crossroads of the World - 6671 Sunset Boulevard.

Taschen offices - 6671 Sunset Boulevard

Copyright 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 - Alan M. Pavlik

The inclusion of any text from others is quotation for the purpose of illustration and commentary, as permitted by the fair use doctrine of U.S. copyright law.  See the Legal Notice Regarding Fair Use for the relevant citation.
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