See the Arts Through Expert Eyes
Thames & Hudson was founded in 1949 by Walter and Eva Neurath. Their passion and mission was to create a ‘museum without walls’ and to make accessible to a large reading public the world of art and the research of top scholars. To reflect its international outlook the name for the company linked the rivers flowing through London and New York, represented in its logo by two dolphins symbolizing friendship and intelligence, one facing east, one west, suggesting a connection between the Old World and the New.
Today, still an independent, family-owned company, Thames & Hudson is one of the world’s leading publishers of illustrated books with over 2,000 titles in print. We publish high-quality books across all areas of visual creativity: the arts (fine, applied, decorative, performing), architecture, design, photography, fashion, film and music, and also archaeology, history and popular culture. Our children’s books list is also expanding. Headquartered in London, we have a sister company in New York and subsidiary sales and distribution companies in Hong Kong and Paris. Today the group employs 150 staff in London and a further 65 around the world.
Of the ten titles that were published in Thames & Hudson’s first list in 1950, English Cathedrals, with photographs by Martin Hürlimann, was the first and most successful. A testament to the company’s strong belief from the very start in the longevity of books, it remained in print until 1971. Also appearing in the first year of publication was Albert Einstein’s Out of My Later Years, an early indication of the programme’s breadth.
Other major series that imparted depth and prestige to the list were Ancient People and Places, edited by Glyn Daniel, who from the 1950s helped to pioneer a wider interest in archaeology, both in book form and on television. More than 100 titles were published in the series over a 34-year period. The large-format Great Civilizations series, published from 1961, featured contributions by such esteemed academics as Alan Bullock, Asa Briggs, Hugh Trevor-Roper, A. J. P. Taylor and John Julius Norwich.
From producing the first commercial edition of The Book of Kells to the triumphant publication of the six-volume Vincent van Gogh – The Letters, from such technical innovations as ‘French folds’ to the then controversial documentation of graffiti art in Subway Art, Thames & Hudson has always been at the vanguard, both culturally and in its production techniques.
In March 2020, Thames & Hudson unveiled its new Pentagram-designed identity and a new look for its signature World of Art series. Relaunched with the tagline ‘See the arts through expert eyes’, the World of Art now carries a bold new look created by Dutch design studio Kummer & Herrman. The cover design features fluid shapes based on a grid inspired by the Golden Ratio, the system of mathematical proportion believed for millennia to be the secret of aesthetic harmony in nature, art and design.
The world of art and scholarship continues to be at the heart of Thames & Hudson’s publishing programme, which also remains true to its founding principle: to provide a museum without walls.
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