Prestel Publishing

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Prestel Publishing
Industry Publishing house
Founded 1924; 93 years ago (1924)
Headquarters Munich, Germany
Owner Random House
Website www.prestel.de

Prestel Publishing[1] is an art book publisher, with books on art, architecture, photography, design, fashion, craft, culture, history and ethnography. Lists range from museum guides, to encyclopaedias, art and architecture monographs to facsimile volumes and books for children. Prestel has been part of the Random House Publishing Group[2] since 2008 with its head office in Munich,[3] and branches in London and New York.

History[edit]

Founded in 1924 by Hermann Loeb in Frankfurt, Germany, originally for the publication of old master prints – the company is named after Johann Gottlieb Prestel the famous eighteenth century German engraver. Paul Capellmann, a lawyer from Aachen, commandeered the company at the behest of the Nazis in 1940 and moved the offices to Munich while Loeb fled to Switzerland. After his death in 1947, Capellmann’s widow, Georgett, and Gustav Stresow took over the publishing house and expanded the programme from books on drawings and prints to include painting, architecture and photography. Gustav Stresow remained a company director until his death on 8 July 2010.

Jürgen Tesch took over as Managing Director in 1977 and expanded the company further, especially in the area of exhibition catalogues, becoming one of the leading publishing partners in the world for museums. A further important step came when Tesch started an English-language publishing programme and set up distribution throughout the world. Today, the company has over 1,000 books in-print, with more than three-quarters in English.

At the start of 2005, The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung took over full ownership of Prestel Verlag after having already owned a portion of the company for many years. In 2006, in order to concentrate on its key business interests, the FAZ divested all interests in book publishing and there was a management buy-out. In 2005, the FAZ sold publishers DVA, Manesse Verlag, and Kösel to Random House and in August 2006 it sold Prestel in equal parts to Martin Dort, Johannes Heyne and the Managing Director at the time - Jürgen Krieger. Dort and Heyne were at this point already owners of their own publishing companies, Christian Verlag and Frederking und Thaler. Thus, a little publishing group came into being but not for long. Random House bought Prestel in June 2008. Christian Verlag und Frederking & Thaler were sold at the same time to publishing house GeraNova Bruckmann.

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