Eva Neurath, 1908-1999
- ISBN 9780500519318
- 23.50 x 14.90 cm
- With 41 illustrations
- First published 2016
The life story of Eva Neurath, co-founder of Thames & Hudson, in her own words
Eva Neurath wrote this memoir for her granddaughters, and it is a private story of a remarkable 20th-century life.
She was born in Berlin and grew up there in the Twenties, in the world of Marlene Dietrich and Leni Riefenstahl, when anything was possible. But this was a world in the grip of traumatic change. Pursued by the Gestapo, Eva, her second husband Wilhelm Feuchtwang and their baby son Stephan left Berlin in 1938, first for Rotterdam, then London.
Wilhelm was interned in the Isle of Man, and Eva was at her wits’ end. Then came another change: she was visited with a message from her husband by Walter Neurath, an Austrian art historian and publisher who had come to England earlier and also been interned, but was soon released to continue his publishing of books for Adprint, where he had created the ‘Britain in Pictures’ series. Offered a job by Walter, Eva grasped the opportunity to recreate herself in her own right as picture researcher, layout designer and art director.
In 1949 they founded a new publishing house, Thames & Hudson, and married in 1953. Her life with Walter moved in circles of art, archaeology and history, among friends including Henry Moore, Harold Acton, John Julius Norwich and Roy Strong.
The memoir ends in 1981, but Eva’s work continued until 1999, the year she died, and the story is filled out by her son, Stephan Feuchtwang.
‘The elegant joy with which she lived her life came to her so naturally – in the delight she took in the highest forms of culture, especially music, in her house in Italy surrounded even in the hottest summer by its cool green lawn, in her always beautifully styled appearance, but above all in producing at Thames and Hudson books that attested to her great respect for high culture – one might have imagined nothing had happened to her to cause anything but total delight in the world’– From David Plante’s obituary in the Guardian
Eva Neurath co-founded the publishing house Thames & Hudson with her husband Walter Neurath in 1949. After Walter’s death in 1967, she served as the company’s chairman for 32 years, upholding its founding mission to create a ‘museum without walls’ and to share the worlds of art, culture and learning with a broad, non-specialist reading public, at prices it could afford.
Eva’s son, Stephan Feuchtwang, is Emeritus Professor of Anthropology in the London School of Economics.