This looks like any old book, but it’s HUGE. It weighs nearly 15 pounds and sold for nearly $200 when it was new.
I bought one, and have put it up for auction: check out the auction. It’s started at 99 cents!
This “atlas” is larger than any atlas I’ve owned. They really went in to make a statement with this project. I believe this originally came with a large clamshell plastic case, to carry it, because carrying it around would probably ruin the dust jacket, cover, and spine.
Phaidon is a well known publisher of art books. They seem to try and become the “encyclopedia Britannica” of art, fashion, photography, and (now) food.
Do they succeed? I don’t know.
We, like most people, are on the outside looking in, so when the voice of authority describes what the inside looks like, we simply accept it as truth, or close to truth.
The flipside, when you’ve observed something for a long time, or have been a participant, and find your milieu documented, the voice of authority often seems to see something else. This, I think, is almost always what happens, and there’s no way that someone trying to write an all-encompassing document could hope to accurately document every individual’s experience.
There is no universal document, nor can there be an accurate summation of reality. Stories about the past are always subjective.
This isn’t to say that there isn’t truth. Truth exists. It just cannot be accurately recorded, or even remembered.
The Atlas is the second Phaidon book I’ve bought for resale.
The first book was the American Art Book, published in the late 1990s.
When it became clear that this wasn’t going to sell, I had this idea to cut it up, and sell the images separately.