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Taschen Logo.svg
Founded 1980; 37 years ago (1980)
Founder Benedikt Taschen
Country of origin Germany
Headquarters location Cologne
Publication types Art Books
Nonfiction topics Arts
No. of employees 250
Official website www.taschen.com

Taschen is an art book publisher founded in 1980 by Benedikt Taschen in Cologne, Germany.[1]


The company began as Taschen Comics, publishing Benedikt’s extensive comic collection. Taschen has been a noteworthy force in making lesser-seen art available to mainstream bookstores, including some fetishistic imagery, queer art, historical erotica, pornography and adult magazines (including multiple books with Playboy magazine). Taschen has helped bring this art into broader public view, by publishing these potentially controversial volumes alongside its more mainstream books of comics reprints, art photography, painting, design, fashion, advertising history, film, and architecture.[2]

Taschen’s publications are available in a variety of sizes, from large tomes detailing the complete works of Leonardo da Vinci, to their Icons series of small, flexicover volumes which encapsulate themes of everything from old ads of Las Vegas, Nevada to male nudes. The company has also produced calendars, address books, and postcards of popular subjects. The company’s stated mission has been to publish innovative, beautifully designed art books at popular prices. The Icons series, for example, has several new volumes published a year, and retailing for about $10 are inexpensive for published collections of art.

In 1985, Taschen introduced the highly successful Basic Art series with an inaugural title on Salvador Dalí.[3] The series today comprises more than 60 titles and is available in up to 30 languages, each about a separate artist, ranging from artists such as Michelangelo to more contemporary artists such as Norman Rockwell. Further series followed, alongside an expansion into new themes like architecture, design, film, and lifestyle. As an example, Taschen also publishes a 'Basic Architecture' series in the same style as 'Basic Art' that covers some of the most prominent architects in history, such as Frank Lloyd Wright. In the spring of 2014 Taschen’s Basic Art Series was criticised in Swedish public media for its focus on male artists. The series then consisted of 95 books, only 5 of which were about female artists. Malmö Konsthall in Sweden was the first institution to report the disparity highlighted by the artists Ditte Ejlerskov and EvaMarie Lindahl.[4][5][6]

In 1999, TASCHEN expanded to the luxury market with the international publishing sensation, the Helmut Newton SUMO. Signed and limited to 10,000 copies, this folio-sized publication quickly sold out and later became the most expensive book published in the 20th century, with SUMO copy number 1 selling at auction for $304,000.[7] The Helmut Newton SUMO paved the way for Taschen’s mammoth work GOAT – Greatest Of All Time, a homage to Muhammad Ali, which Der Spiegel called “the biggest, heaviest, most radiant thing ever printed in the history of civilization.”[8] Further Collector’s Editions followed, including titles with Nobuyoshi Araki, Peter Beard, David LaChapelle, Sebastião Salgado, Annie Leibovitz, and the Rolling Stones, often reaching ten times their original price within a few years.[9]

Taschen headquarters on Hohenzollernring 53, Cologne
Taschen office in Berlin on Kurfürstendamm 213
Taschen office in Los Angeles, situated in the Crossroads of the World building on Sunset Boulevard
The publisher’s office, located in the Chemosphere
Some art books edited by Taschen.

Stores and offices[edit]

Through the mid- to late 1990s, the company’s sales structure was expanded through the opening of stores in Paris, London, New York, Madrid, and Tokyo. Dedicated flagship Taschen bookstores, designed by Philippe Starck and Marc Newson (Milan), are located in:

Today Taschen has publishing offices in Berlin, Cologne, London, Paris, Los Angeles, and Hong Kong. In 2014, Taschen opened their first art gallery in Los Angeles.[10] The publishing house employs more than 250 staff members worldwide and many longtime freelance editors.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ TASCHEN: The Art of Making Books.
  2. ^ Degen Pener: Taschen Books Chief Reveals New Projects, Talks 'Fifty Shades' and $12M Books, published in The Hollywood Reporter, November 25, 2014
  3. ^ Basic Art Series – The classic TASCHEN book
  4. ^ www.konsthall.malmo.se. "Malmö Konsthall". Konsthall.malmo.se. Retrieved 2014-05-17. 
  5. ^ NODE, André Pahl. "Kunstkritikk — Taschen under Fire". Kunstkritikk.com. Retrieved 2014-05-17. 
  6. ^ "About: Blank Pages – feminist history in the making at Malmö Konsthall". Culturenordic.com. 2014-05-05. Retrieved 2014-05-17. 
  7. ^ Marina Cashdan: Artist edition books, in How to spend it, May 26, 2015.
  8. ^ Thomas Hüetlin: Alis letzter Sieg Der Spiegel 41/2003.
  9. ^ TASCHEN: Collector’s Editions Catalogue 2013.
  10. ^ “Taschen Grand Opening With David Bailey and the Rolling Stones” in The Huffington Post, December 17, 2014.
  11. ^ Jessica Berens: “A passion for Taschen” in The Observer, November 4, 2001.


External links[edit]