The Phaidon Experience at Affordable Art Fair

Phaidon, the premier global publisher of the creative arts with over 1,500 titles in print, has an amazing story, so before we explore the titles that will be onsite at the fair for this edition, let’s go back in history. Learn more about the Phaidon legacy by reading our interview with Digital Editorial Director, Mat Smith below.

So what is Phaidon and what does it do?
We are indeed the premier global publisher in the creative arts! Phaidon works with the world’s most influential artists, chefs, writers and big thinkers to produce innovative books on art, photography, design, architecture, fashion, food and travel, in addition to illustrated books for cultured kids.

How long has Phaidon been around?
Phaidon was founded in Vienna in 1923 by Dr Bela Horovitz and Ludwig Goldscheider.

Wow! What were the first books they published?
Actually they weren’t art books, but were on literature, philosophy and history. A German edition of Plato’s works was among the first ones.

Why did they call it Phaidon?
Good question! Horovitz wanted to reflect his love of classical antiquity and culture. He took the name Phaidon, from a pupil of Socrates and speaker in Plato’s dialogue on the immortality of the soul. Phaidon is the German version of the name and in English it’s Phaedo. It’s pronounced a number of ways but to get it right think “eye” when you say the Phai part of the word.

So who owns Phaidon today and where is it based?
In October 2012, the company was bought by art lovers, Leon and Debra Black and their family. Together they grew Phaidon as the world’s leading publisher of books in the visual arts, food and children’s markets.

So we imagine you’re pretty global?
Yep, we have very nicely designed offices in New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Madrid, Milan and Tokyo. We operate a global sales and distribution network, selling in over 100 countries and publishing books in English, French, Spanish, Japanese and German, with an increasing number of publishing partners in further languages.

And what makes your books different?
Well they’re beautifully illustrated and treasured worldwide for their outstanding content and award winning production, for starters. Each of our 1,500 books currently in print is designed meticulously and the content carefully curated and edited to showcase the kind of creativity and imagination that can inspire us all – from the person getting into art for the first time to the serious collector or academic. We also have a great website and store at you might like to visit once the fair is over.

Affordable Art Fair NYC is thrilled to welcome Phaidon back for its second fair. Sit back and relax in the Phaidon Lounge, located at the front of the fair.  Be sure to start or end your fair experience by perusing the awesome titles.

If you can’t wait, below are the titles that will be at the fair!

Collecting Art for Love Money & More – Ethan Wagner and Thea Westreich Wagner
This is the definitive guide to collecting art, for both the novice and the experienced buyer. Art advisors Thea Westreich Wagner and Ethan Wagner draw on their extensive experience working with both contemporary art collectors and institutions, to offer an insider’s view into the opaque world of collecting art.
$40 Admission to the fair and Collecting Art for Love Money & More. Click here to buy!

Akademie X
This inspirational, practical book teaches readers to think, see and live like an artist. Within these pages, 36 of the world’s most thought-provoking artists, including Marina Abramović, Olafur Eliasson and Miranda July, share previously untold stories and identify the things they wish they’d known at the start of their careers.

The Twenty First Century Art Book
Want to grasp today’s art scene? Then buy this. A straightforward overview of 280 of the best contemporary artists, it places established stars like Jeff Wall, Marlene Dumas and Maurizio Cattelan alongside the next generation of big names, such as Theaster Gates.

Fog Island – Tomi Ungerer
Drawings from this beautifully illustrated story book by the legendary author and illustrator Tomi Ungerer also feature in the artist’s acclaimed retrospective at the Drawing Center in New York. The book was voted one of the New York Times’ Top 10 Children’s Book of 2013.

Eat (1967) – Tomi Ungerer
Aside from being an award-winning children’s author and illustrator, Ungerer is also a renowned political and social activist. This, his best-known protest poster, was first made in 1967 in response to the Vietnam War, and also features in the artist’s acclaimed retrospective at the Drawing Center in New York.

Let’s Play Games series – Hervé Tullet
Known in France as ‘the prince of preschool books’, Tullet teaches young minds to think imaginatively, independently and creatively. His simple, interactive Let’s Play Games series make books fun, even for the youngest of readers.

Ready to buy? Click here and receive these copies at a discount!

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