Taschen’s limited edition “The Ken Adam Archive Collector’s Edition” in the spotlight

Specialist publisher Taschen is currently promoting its amazing-looking, limited edition The Ken Adam Archive Collector’s Edition, launched earlier this year. Copies of this stunning looking study of the world famous James Bond film designer are available direct from their web shop for an eye watering £850, accompanied by an acrylic, engraved bookstand.

The Ken Adam Archive Collector’s Edition

Winner of two Academy Awards, two BAFTAs, and the Art Directors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award, and knighted for distinguished services to film, Sir Ken Adam is widely acknowledged as the world’s most influential production designer. This signed Collector’s Edition, limited to 1200 copies, is realised in collaboration with the Deutsche Kinemathek, which was honoured with Adam’s personal archive in 2012, and is illustrated by hundreds of sketches and photographs, many of them never published to this date.

Whether in the sprawling extravagance of You Only Live Twice’s volcanic lair, or the unassuming simplicity of the sinister anteroom in Dr. No, Adam’s designs were indispensable to the look and feel of seven of the early James Bond films. In The Ken Adam Archive, launched earlier this year in Berlin, his artworks are carefully complimented by a wealth of behind-the-scenes photographs, documents, and archival material on the films, courtesy of EON Productions.

Not only did Adam craft the space stations, bunkers, and laboratories of 007’s villains, he was responsible for many of his memorable vehicles, as whimsical as they were menacing: from the amphibious Lotus Esprit in The Spy Who Loved Me to Goldfinger’s gadget-laden Aston Martin DB5, the ultimate combination of futuristic weaponry and tongue-in-cheek wit.

The book also recalls, through a series of illuminating interviews between Adam and author Sir Christopher Frayling, the highs and lows of his close but tumultuous collaborations with Stanley Kubrick – including the design of the War Room in Dr. Strangelove – alongside many more standout moments from his career.

Steven Spielberg called the War Room “the best set in the history of the movies”.

Accompanied by authoritative essays and introductions from Frayling, who is also Adam’s biographer, The Ken Adam Archive reflects upon the life and work of the German-British refugee and fighter pilot who would go on to realize a celebrated career in production design, spanning seven decades and over 50 films.

Sir Ken Adam was born 1921 in Berlin, and first trained as an architect before starting out in the movie industry as a draughtsman. He progressed quickly to art director and production designer on several major films, including Around the World in Eighty Days, Night of the Demon, and The Trials of Oscar Wilde. Known particularly for his semi-futuristic designs and use of modern technologies and materials, Adam collaborated with such top class directors as John Ford, Jacques Tourneur, Robert Aldrich, and, of course, Stanley Kubrick.

Sir Christopher Frayling with The Ken Adam Archive at the launch of the book in Berlin earlier this year. Photo by André Rudolph via Taschen
Sir Christopher Frayling with The Ken Adam Archive at the launch of the book in Berlin earlier this year. Photo by André Rudolph via Taschen

Born in 1946, Sir Christopher Frayling is a renowned British author, writer and critic. With a particular interest in popular culture, he taught at the University of Bath and also served as the Rector of the Royal College of Art. As chairman of the Arts and the Design Council and former governor of the British Film Institute, he is a leading voice in the world of movie and design history.

The Ken Adam Archive Collector’s Edition of 1200 numbered copies, each signed by Sir Ken Adam, with acrylic, engraved bookstand is available to buy direct from Taschen here

The Ken Adam Archive

Edition of 1,200Hardcover bound in iridescent bicolor fabric with tipped-in, four-phase lenticular, 36 x 36 cm (14.2 x 14.2 in.), 3.88 kg (8.54 lb), 360 pages, with acrylic, engraved bookstand

ISBN 978-3-8365-5187-8Edition: English

Categories: Art and Illustration, Books, downthetubes News, Film, Other Worlds

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