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Phaidon publishes the world’s most gorgeous books. Spend a few minutes on their site and tell me you don’t want to own everything they’ve produced, from the Art of French Baking to the Atlas of 21st Century Architecture to Dieter Rams’s “As Little Design As Possible.” Print, thankfully, is alive and kicking.
So when I read on NPR about the newly released “The Art Museum,” I got more than a little excited. Weighing in at a husky 18 pounds, this 922-page monument to the world’s greatest art begs a rewrite of the famous line from Jaws: we’re gonna need a bigger coffee table.
In marketing, we often talk in terms of big ideas. This feels like one of those big ideas. A decade in the making, 100 people touching it, basically the world’s greatest museum in hardcover. I’d love to know where the person who got the idea actually got the idea. Scribbling on a cocktail napkin? An off-the-cuff suggestion while working on something else? “What if we could build the best museum…?” The coolest ideas are always those that can be described in a simple sentence.
Costing just less than my first Volkswagen, this isn’t a cheap book. But any endeavor with the confidence to begin with: “This imaginary museum, created and curated by Phaidon, houses the finest art collection ever assembled,” is putting it out there, and I like that. I’ll never get to all the great museums in the world. Here’s a chance to let them come to me.