Minotaure (1933 - 1939)

In 1933 Albert Skira, a young publisher of elegant art books, released the first two issues of a periodical which, though it would only last for 6 years, remains to this day one of the most impressive publications of its kind ever produced. It was called Minotaure and the reasons it is damned near legendary are simple– lavish production values of a quality unseen previously, and contributors who, from the editors to the essayists to the artists, went on to storm the hallowed annals of history.

12.01. filed under: art. history. people.

Insanely great.

posted on 12.01 at 09:38 PM.

Skira is of course still around and in the eighties they reprinted the whole thing in three volumes, which I have. My mother received the first one as a gift when she left Paris and I bugged her until she bought the other two. It was a major, if unhealthy, influence while I was growing up.

It is an outstanding reprint. Finding the original is probably impossible but these three volumes may still be around and they’re just as good.

posted on 12.02 at 12:10 AM.

Umm, of course I meant that the Skira publishing house is still around. Albert kicked the can a long time ago. I just went to skira.net (it is now an Italian publisher for some reason). Searching for minotaure on their site brings up nothing, disappointingly.

posted on 12.02 at 12:20 AM.

Very, very cool. I love stuff like this.

This entry puts me in mind of Aspen Magazine. Another great bit of publishing magic that deserves recognition. Loads of material to peruse and appreciate awaits the visitor, select material lovingly picked from the oeuvres of many notables de plume and lumières of the arts. Ever wanted to listen to Marcel Duchamp or the Bill Evans Trio? Alain Robbe-Grillet or John Cale? You can. Note: you can download a lot of Aspen’s content from the linked site.

I can only guess that readers of this site will probably be familiar with Aspen, but if anyone reading this comment is not—due to some unfortunate accident or cruel twist of fate—already familiar with it, then my advice is to hie thyself thereto posthaste and partake.

posted on 12.02 at 02:32 AMMoody834

Yes, very cool indeed. There is a (very brief) mention of the magazine on this page at the Skira site. Looking on abebooks: individual magazines are going for c. $120 (US) and up; there’s a copy of the 3-volume 1981 edition available for c. $580; and two complete, bound sets of the original magazines are listed at $6300 and $9720 respectively!

posted on 12.02 at 09:02 AM.

The New York Public Library has the Skira reprints (control number: NYPG83-S627) in the non-circulating collection.  Also, an additional volume on the Dakar-Djibouti mission.  Field trip!

posted on 12.02 at 10:28 AMJack Rusher

Good lord. These are amazing. It seems unbelievable that with the current slew of fine art compilations, retrospectives and nostalgia-driven collections in bookshops these days that a boxset is not available.

That Duchamp cover is completely great.

posted on 12.03 at 06:42 AMPierce

What is XMPP? (something tells me it’s a dumb question:D)

posted on 05.31 at 12:49 PMCathie L Wheeler

Nice! I’ve bookmarked it http://www.searchallinone.com/Other/mod_log_chat_published_-_Process-one-1/ :D

posted on 05.31 at 12:49 PMGary S Dawes

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