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Taschen is an art book publisher founded in 1980 by Benedikt Taschen in Cologne, Germany.[4] As of January 2017, Taschen is co-managed by Benedikt and his eldest daughter, Marlene Taschen.

Taschen Logo.svg
Status GmbH
Founded 1980; 38 years ago (1980)
Founder Benedikt Taschen
Country of origin Germany
Headquarters location Cologne
Distribution Worldwide[1]
(including Ingram Publisher Services (US)[2] and Littlehampton Book Services (UK)[3])
Key people Benedikt Taschen, Marlene Taschen
Publication types Art books
Nonfiction topics Arts
No. of employees 250
Official website



Taschen headquarters on Hohenzollernring 53, Cologne
Some art books published by Taschen.

The company began as Taschen Comics, publishing Benedikt’s comic collection. Taschen has been a pioneer 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). The firm has brought potentially controversial art into broader public view, publishing it alongside its more mainstream books of comics reprints, art photography, painting, design, fashion, advertising history, film, and architecture.[5]

Taschen publications are available in a variety of sizes, from oversized tomes to small pocket-sized books. The company has also produced calendars, address books, and postcards sets.[6]

In 1985, Taschen introduced the Basic Art series with an inaugural title on Salvador Dalí.[7] The series today comprises over 100 titles available in up to thirty languages, each about a separate artist, from classical to contemporary.[8] Further series followed, alongside an expansion into new themes like architecture, design, film, and lifestyle. As an example, the firm also publishes a “Basic Architecture” series in the same style as “Basic Art” that covers some of the most prominent architects in history.

A focus on male artistsEdit

In the spring of 2014, the firm’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.[9][10][11]

The Helmut Newton SUMOEdit

In 1999, Taschen expanded to the luxury market with the Helmut Newton SUMO.

Signed and limited to 10,000 copies, the folio-sized publication quickly sold out and later became the most expensive book published in the 20th century,[12] with SUMO copy number 1selling at auction for $304,000.[13]

This book paved the way for Taschen’s GOAT – Greatest Of All Time, an homage to Muhammad Ali, which Der Spiegel called “the biggest, heaviest, most radiant thing ever printed in the history of civilization.”[14]

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.[15]


Taschen Basic ArtEdit

Taschen Basic ArchitectureEdit

Taschen Basic Architecture is a series of books on architects, published by Taschen. Each book looks at a different architect, with a biography, and pictures of their work.

Bibliotheca UniversalisEdit

Taschen’s Bibliotheca universalis is a series of popular art works in an affordable (about 15 euros) hardback format (14 x 19,5 cm).[16] They are generally trilingual, with texts and legends in English, German and French. Some books are also published in Spanish, Italian and Portuguese.

Offices and storesEdit

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

  • Amsterdam
  • Beverly Hills
  • Berlin
  • Brussels
  • Cologne
  • Dallas (Taschen Library)
  • Hamburg
  • Los Angeles
  • London
  • Lyon (France)
  • Miami
  • Milan
  • New York City
  • Paris

The firm has publishing offices in Berlin, Cologne, London, Paris, Los Angeles and Hong Kong.

In 2014, Taschen opened its first art gallery, in Los Angeles.[17] The publishing house employs more than 250 staff members worldwide and many longtime freelance editors.[18]



  1. ^ TASCHEN. "TASCHEN Books: Contact us". Retrieved 2017-11-12. 
  2. ^ "Publishers We Work With - Book Distribution | Ingram Content Group". Retrieved 2017-11-12. 
  3. ^ "Our Clients". Littlehampton Books Services. Retrieved 2017-11-12. 
  4. ^ Taschen: The Art of Making Books Archived 24 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine..
  5. ^ Degen Pener: Taschen Books Chief Reveals New Projects, Talks 'Fifty Shades' and $12M Books, published in The Hollywood Reporter, 25 November 2014
  6. ^ Linkedin: Company Profile
  7. ^ Basic Art Series – The classic TASCHEN book
  8. ^ "Basic Art Series 2.0 – The classic TASCHEN book". TASCHEN. February 8, 2018. 
  9. ^ "Malmö Konsthall". Archived from the original on 8 May 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2014. 
  10. ^ NODE, André Pahl. "Kunstkritikk — Taschen under Fire". Retrieved 2014-05-17. 
  11. ^ "About: Blank Pages – feminist history in the making at Malmö Konsthall". 2014-05-05. Retrieved 2014-05-17. 
  12. ^ Karin Nelson: Now Available In Small, The New York Times, 23 August 2009, retrieved September 13, 2017
  13. ^ Marina Cashdan: Artist edition books, in How to spend it, 26 May 2015.
  14. ^ Thomas Hüetlin: Alis letzter Sieg Der Spiegel 41/2003.
  15. ^ TASCHEN: Collector’s Editions Catalogue 2013 Archived 27 November 2014 at the Wayback Machine..
  16. ^ Bibliotheca Universalis: The World in Books, Taschen website (page visited on 3 September 2017).
  17. ^ "Taschen Grand Opening With David Bailey and the Rolling Stones", The Huffington Post, 17 December 2014.
  18. ^ Jessica Berens: “A passion for Taschen” in The Observer, 4 November 2001.

External linksEdit