Abaris Books is a scholarly publishing house based in Norwalk, Connecticut, which produces authoritative art reference books. Abaris is renowned for its definitive collections of titles in art history and other subjects, and for its cataloguing of renowned artists such as Albrecht Dürer, Rembrandt van Rijn, Marcantonio Raimondi, Jean Duvet, Wenceslaus Hollar, Antonio Tempesta, The Carraccis, and Caravaggio. The pictorial encyclopaedia, The Illustrated Bartsch, is pre-eminent in their collection. Founded by Walter L. Strauss, Abaris is named for Abaris the Hyperborean. According to legend, Strauss named his company to appear in alphabetical listings before the other two leading art reference publishing companies, Abbeville Press and Abrams Books.
|Parent company||Opal Publishing Corporation|
|Founded||1970. New York, New York|
|Founder||Walter L. Strauss|
|Country of origin|
|Headquarters location||Norwalk, CT 06850|
|Key people||JC West, Managing editor|
|Publication types||Scholarly Reference Works|
|Nonfiction topics||Art History & Art Reference|
|No. of employees||Four|
|Official website||Abaris Books Website|
Abaris Books was founded in 1970 in New York by Walter L. Strauss. Abaris publishes a multitude of titles which contribute to the vast fields of art history and art reference. Strauss edited and published many notable titles, however his largest and most significant project was to begin illustrating Count Adam von Bartsch's famous 24 volume list, le peintre-graveur, as The Illustrated Bartsch. This massive project was left unfinished upon Strauss' death[a], and Abaris Books became an imprint of OPAL Publishing Corporation. OPAL has furthered the progress of Abaris and The Illustrated Bartsch.
OPAL chose to focus on The Illustrated Bartsch as the premier title of Abaris Books, however Abaris receives worldwide recognition for their publications of the catalogues raisonnés of Albrecht Dürer and Rembrandt. Abaris currently publishes 13 volumes concentrating on catalogues raisonnés of Albrecht Dürer, including two volumes of The Illustrated Bartsh, one a picture atlas, and the other a commentary.
Abaris also publishes considerable titles such as The Complete Drawings of Albrecht Dürer, Drawings of the Rembrandt School, and The Royal Horse and Rider: Painting, Sculpture, and Horsemanship 1500-1800, winner of the 1989 C.I.N.O.A. Prize.
A warehouse fire in 2005 destroyed the entire Abaris Books inventory, over 35,000 volumes. This included the entire collection of The Illustrated Bartsch. Since then, the small staff of Abaris Books has reprinted the entire collection of 104 volumes, and currently works toward producing future volumes, as organized under the General Plan. Other titles are planned for restocking and all titles remain in print.
Other titles include Colin Eisler's The Master of the Unicorn: The Life and Work of Jean Duvet, Udo Kultermann's The History of Art History, the definitive English translation by Winslow Ames of Joseph Meder's classic, The Mastery of Drawing, François Bucher's Architector: The Lodge Books and Sketchbooks of Medieval Architects, Vladimír Denkstein's Hollar Drawings, and Walter Strauss' own Chiaroscuro: The Clair-Obscure Woodcuts by the German and Netherlandish Masters of the XVIth and XVIIth Centuries.
The Illustrated Bartsch
Often shortened to “TIB” as a reference, or simply called the Bartsch, The Illustrated Bartsch is Abaris Books' most notable and renowned title. First aimed to illustrate Adam von Bartsch's list of European master printmakers, present scholarship has proven omissions and incorrect attributions in Bartsch's list. The first 48 volumes of The Illustrated Bartsch cohere directly to the artists found on Bartsch's list; however there are presently over 100 volumes in print, many of them Commentary and Supplementary editions. These additional volumes define the scholarship of European master prints and reflect the world of art scholasticism.
In 2003, Abaris Books granted a non-exclusive license to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation of New York to convert portions of their photographic archive into electronic format. The licensed illustrations can be viewed on the website of the not-for-profit educational organization, ARTstor.
Abaris has co-published titles with several major institutions, including:
- ^ a: January 14, 1988
- Eser, Thomas. "Walter Leopold Strauss. (Nürnberg 23.4.1922 – 14.1.1988 New York City). Eine Kurzbiografie des Dürerforschers", rijo-research, 2011
- Glueck, Grace. “Walter L. Strauss, Author and Expert On Old Masters Art”, The New York Times, New York, January 19, 1988
- Walter L. Strauss, New York, 1980. ISBN 0-89835-000-X
- 6 vol. Edited Walter L. Strauss ISBN 0-913870-00-5
- Werner Sumowski 12 vols. ISBN 0-913870-48-X
- Walter Liedtke, 1989. ISBN 0-89835-267-3
- Eisler, Colin. The Master of the Unicorn: The Life and Work of Jean Duvet. Abaris Books. New York. 1979. ISBN 0-913870-46-3
- Kultermann, Udo. The History of Art History. Abaris Books. 1993. ISBN 0-89835-055-7
- Meder, Joseph. trans. Ames, Winslow. The Mastery of Drawing vols 1 & 2. Abaris Books. New York. 1978. ISBN 0-913870-16-1
- Bucher, François. Architector: The Lodge Books and Sketchbooks of Medieval Architects vol 1. Abaris Books. New York. 1979. ISBN 0-913870-47-1
- Denkstein, Vladimír. Hollar Drawings. Abaris Books. New York. 1977. ISBN 0-913870-94-3
- Strauss, Walter. Chiaroscuro: The Clair-Obscure Woodcuts by the German and Netherlandish Masters of the XVIth and XVIIth Centuries. Abaris Books. New York. 1973. ISBN 0-8212-0501-3
- Bowen, William G. "2003, President's Report" Archived June 13, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, New York, April 2, 2004
- A Gift to the College: The Mr. and Mrs. Adolph Weil Jr. Collection of Master Prints. Hood Museum of Art. New Hampshire. Abaris Books. Connecticut. 1998 ISBN 0-944722-20-2
- Master Drawings From the Woodner Collection. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, NY. Abaris Books. New York. 1990. ISBN 0-89835-318-1
- Guillermo, Jorge. Cuba: Five Hundred Years of Images. Toth Publishers. Amsterdam. Abaris Books. New York. 1992. ISBN 0-89835-324-6
- Birke, Veronica. The History of Italian Drawings 1350-1800: Masterworks from the Albertina. ASI. Alexandria, VA. Abaris Books. New York. ISBN 0-89835-276-2