Who are we?

Since 1951, Delpire Éditeur has been publishing books of extremely high quality, devoted essentially to photography.

Having broken new ground by publishing the work of William Klein, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Marc Riboud, Robert Frank and others, the house then paved the way for artists whose essential status would soon be recognized, such as Josef Koudelka, Sarah Moon, Michel Vanden Eeckhoudt and, more recently, Daido Moriyama.

Now with a treasure chest of over 60 titles on the backlist, the team is still putting its passion, savoir-faire and high standards at artists’ service. Each book is a unique object, conceived to help bring an artist’s oeuvre to a wider audience and make it an integral part of our live. Above and beyond sensibilities, outlooks and trends; open to all styles and genres, Delpire Éditeur’s goal remains unchanged: that each and every book we create be an opening onto the world around us, as well as onto the one within. In 2012, Delpire Éditeur joined the photography branch of the Libella Publishing Group. The branch also includes Photosynthèses Éditions and the Folia Gallery.

© Henri Cartier-Bresson / Magnum Photos Assis, de gauche à droite : Robert Delpire, Sarah Moon, Martine Franck. Debout : Jeanloup Sieff, Jacques-Henri Lartigue, Henri Cartier-Bresson. 3 février 1973.

Our story

Delpire Éditeur, founded in 1951, was run by Robert Delpire for over sixty years. Recognized as a genius with images, he made significant contributions to the history of photography.

His publishing house’s story begins with the creation of Neuf, an art magazine that brought together texts, photos and illustrations of the highest quality: Breton and André François, Arthur Miller and Picasso and more. Over the years, the house has created several collections – like Maestro, Photo Poche and Des images et des mots – an eclectic mix, except that they all have the same ambition: “to surprise the eye” and propose a reflection on images as graphic art. As encouraging dialogue between photography and words is another one of the house’s vocations, the books often unite photographs with texts by remarkable authors – well-known thinkers, novelists, poets, etc. – such as Yves Bonnefoy, Michel Deguy, Jean-Paul Sartre and Erik Orsenna.

“A good book or a good exhibit should situate a work of art to the maximum of what it is, not explain, but make the artist’s intentions limpid...”

Robert Delpire
Henri Cartier-Bresson photographe, collection « Maestro ».

Delpire Éditeur had soon published the work of some of the most emblematic artists of the 20th century: Cartier-Bresson, Brassaï, Doisneau, Lartigue, Bischof... In 1958, the publication of Robert Frank’s The Americans (which Delpire published first, before the American edition) was seen as a true innovation. For photography lovers, the book became a cult object. Then Koudelka, Witkin, Sarah Moon, Ernest Pignon-Ernest and, more recently, Daido Moriyama all naturally found their place in the catalogue, expanding the house’s territory.

Juste un peu flou from Robert Capa, collection « Des images et des mots ».

Alongside this passionate exploration of photography, the catalogue also opened up to illustration with the publication of books for children – including such classics as Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are and André François’s Crocodile Tears – as well as for adults with the Illustrators in the Paperback Illustrators Collection, which focuses on great illustrators, living and dead (from Grandville and Daumier to Anderson, Georges Lemoine and more).

André François, collection « Poche illustrateur ».

Robert Delpire has retired now, but his house’s purpose remains the same: developing reflections about images and photography and introducing all of their facets – from the oldest to the most recent – to a broad audience. From yesterday to tomorrow, photography has never ceased and will never cease to evolve and to reflect the colors of its times. But there will always be images to show!

© Sarah Moon, Robert Delpire.

robert delpire

Born in 1928, Robert Delpire worked as a publisher, an artistic director, a curator and a film producer.

  1. 1951
  2. He founds the publishing house that bears his name, and publishes the work of Cartier-Bresson, Brassaï, Doisneau, Lartigue, Bischof and more.
  3. 1960
  4. He founds an advertising agency that is part of the Advico Group, and that handles a great number of international clients.
  5. 1963
  6. He opens the gallery on Rue de l’Abbaye, in the heart of literary and artistic Paris, where he shows major photographers, such as Koudelka, Smith, Khün and others, often for the first time in Europe, as well as illustrators and graphic designers.
  7. 1982-1996
  8. He is the director of the Centre National de la Photographie.
  9. 1982
  10. He launches the famous Photopoche (PocketPhoto) collection, a revolution in photography books. The collection now belongs to the Actes Sud publishing house.
  11. 1995
  12. He is awarded the Royal Photographic Society’s Centenary Medal.
  13. 2009
  14. He is honored with a retrospective of his career at the Rencontres Photographiques d’Arles and the Maison Européenne de la Photographie. Throughout his life, Robert Delpire has organized, curated and consulted on shows for museums around the world. He has been received numerous distinctions, including: Commander of Arts and Letters, Gold Medal for Graphic Arts, the Nadar Prize and the Advertising Grand Prix.

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