The good news is a set of two, new, luxurious Arnold Schwarzenegger books will be released in July with a wealth of high-quality photographs covering his entire life and exclusive interviews with bodybuilding legends and others. The books were 10 years in the making, together total 890 pages, and will be limited to 1947 copies (Arnold was born on July 30, 1947), each of which will be signed and numbered by Arnold himself. The bad news, well, the standard edition of Arnold goes for $1500, the most deluxe edition is $15,000, and there are no periods before any of those zeroes. Since we’ll likely never touch one of these books, let’s look inside.

Arnold Taschen
Arnold Taschen book
Arnold clowning in Gold’s Gym Venice, circa 1970. / Artie Zeller


In a video, Arnold Schwarzenegger explained the inspiration for the two-volume Arnold:

I did this book because there is no other way that you can sum up the kind of quality of photography that were done during my lifetime. So I said to myself how do we ever bring all of these great, great photographs together? [George] Hurrell and Annie Leibovitz and people like that that photographed me from early on to just recently. And I said to myself, Taschen, because Taschen is the only company that makes books big books. And so there is no other publisher that will publish a photograph in that quality that is literally like each page of photograph quality. Only Taschen does that. And that’s why I thought it would be a great idea, even though it is an enormous challenge to get the rights. And I knew that Benedikt Taschen would be the only one that would understand, who would have the same passion about doing a project like that.

Founded in 1980, the German company Taschen produces very high-quality books devoted to topics such as photography, painting, erotica, and cinema.

Arnold book
Arnold Taschen
Arnold posing with Dave Draper in 1969. / Artie Zeller
Arnold Schwarzenegger Taschen
Herb Ritts, 1991

The Arnold photo book is 334 extra-large pages while the 556-page companion volume tells his life story and includes interviews with such bodybuilding greats as the late Franco Columbu, the late Dave Draper, and Frank Zane. Together the volumes are filled with photographs from such noted photographers as Richard AvedonAnnie Leibovitz, Robert Mapplethorpe, Herb Ritts, Andy Warhol and bodybuilding’s own Artie Zeller, as well as dozens of personal photos from Arnold’s private archive.

Arnold Taschen
(right) 19-year-old Arnold winning Best Built Athlete of Europe 1966 / Albert Busek / (right) first cover in 1966 after winning Best Built Junior Athlete of Europe 1965
new Arnold Taschen book
(right) Arnold on the December 1970 issue of Weider’s “Mr. America” and Joe Weider overseeing that cover shoot. / (left) Arnold at Venice Beach, circa 1970. / Artie Zeller

There will be 997 copies of the basic “Collector’s Edition” for $1500. And there will be 850 copies of the “Capitello Edition” for $3000, which comes with an artistic stand. And for those who think those are just aren’t lux enough, there will be 100 copies of the “Annie Liebowitz Art Edition” for $15,000, which also comes with the stand as well as a nearly life-size ChromaLuxe print of an Arnold photo take by (and signed and numbered by) famed photographer Annie Liebowitz.

Taschen Arnold book
early Arnold covers
Arnold Taschen
Arnold Taschen
Artie Zeller, 1969

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