Publisher Spotlight: Bellagio Press

Bellagio Press is an imprint of TAJ Books International, a California-based trade art publisher. They specialize in smaller format, photographic-based titles that appeal to the general public.

The TAJ Mini Books series from Bellagio Press is comprised of twenty books that vary in subject, including biographies, reference, and art books. Casemate IPM is proud to distribute six of these beautifully designed titles, which you’ll find below.

Elizabeth Taylor
9781627320023Elizabeth Taylor defines movie star. Breathtakingly beautiful from a very young age, she most successfully made the rare transition from child star to adult star. Pocketing two Best Actress Oscars and numerous other honors for achievement in acting, Elizabeth battled an overbearing stage mother, a strong handed studio, unhappy marriages, global media attention, alcohol and prescription drug addiction, and lifelong health problems to emerge, if not victorious, resolute and reflective and appreciative of all that she had experienced and learned. In addition to her career, Elizabeth is well known for her seven husbands and eight marriages, two of which were to the tempestuous Welsh actor Richard Burton, and for her magnificent jewelry collection. Her fight for funding to support AIDS/HIV research was also a major part of her life’s work after her acting career was largely over. Filled with photos of Elizabeth, her husbands, her leading men, and her four children, this book tells the story of Ms. Taylor’s almost unbelievable life as leading lady, jet-setter, and adulteress, as well as a pretty down-to-earth person simply seeking happiness. Her story is fascinating, just as she was.
Buy it here $9.99

9781627320030When Liberace was just seven years old, he memorized the full 17-page score of Mendelssohn’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream” in one day. No matter your opinion of Liberace’s ostentatious and flamboyant style, his talent on the piano is unarguable. He learned the entertainment business as a teenager playing honky tonks and bars, moving after high school graduation to New York City, “the city that never sleeps.” He found moderate success there, but soon moved to California, staying only a year before returning to The Big Apple. To stand out in an extremely competitive market, Liberace practiced 12 hours a day and originated his unique style, combining the classic works, shortened to appeal to a mass audience, with the popular tunes of the day. It was at this time, in the early 1940s, that he plopped the infamous candelabra on his grand piano. The lavish, over-the-top costumes would come later.  Soon, Las Vegas beckoned and Liberace did not look the other way. From 1945 until the end of his life in 1987, Liberace called Las Vegas home—along with his multiple other homes, all of which he decorated in the most lavish (some would say completely kitsch) way imaginable. Liberace was a force to be reckoned with, a very talented and original artist.
Buy it here $9.99

9781627320061Why shoot a revolver when a modern semiautomatic carries more rounds, reloads faster, is flatter and slimmer, and is no more costly? Revolvers are no-problem guns. Because it has a relatively straightforward design, a revolver is very reliable. A semiautomatic is sensitive to cartridges, and stories about jammed actions because of insufficiently powerful rounds are numerous. Revolvers do not jam. If a revolver misfires or a case is underpowered, the shooter simply pulls the trigger again. The complexity of a semi-auto’s mechanics compared to a revolver gives the revolver an edge in durability. A revolver can take a great deal of punishment and still shoot a tight group. The final point in favor of revolvers is their ability to accept powerful loads. No semi- autos can withstand the power of loads such as .454 Casull or .475 Linebaugh. In short, revolvers still rock!
Buy it here $9.99

9781627320092Marilyn Monroe, born Norma Jeane Mortenson on June 1, 1926, is one of the best-loved movie stars and sex goddesses of all time, although she died much too young at the age of thirty-six. Marilyn overcame multiple foster homes and an early, wartime marriage to become the wife of two of America’s most famous men: first, the baseball all-star Joe DiMaggio, and then the playwright Arthur Miller.  Not surprisingly, she even caught the eye of President John F. Kennedy to whom she famously sang “Happy Birthday” in 1962 in front of an overflow crowd at New York City’s Madison Square Garden. A lifetime struggle with self-confidence, tumultuous marriages, ill health, and drug and alcohol addictions, Marilyn’s movie career suffered in the last years before her death. The filming of her last movie, Something’s Got to Give, was never completed. She died during production. In death as in life, Marilyn Monroe fascinates. This book is filled with photos of Marilyn throughout her life. Marilyn worked with some of the best directors of her day and pushed herself to excel in comedic, dramatic, and musical roles. She was only the second female movie star to create her own production company. Marilyn may have played the dumb blonde, but that was just one more role.
Buy it here $9.99

Audrey Hepburn
9781627320122Just a few short years after WWII ended, Audrey Hepburn was discovered in a Monte Carlo hotel lobby by the French novelist Colette to assume the title role in the Broadway  production of Gigi. Having barely survived the war in her home in Arnhem, Netherlands, Audrey was forced to give up her dream of being a prima ballerina because she was both too tall and too malnourished from the starvation and deprivation she suffered during the war years. An immediate success as Gigi, Audrey was whisked away to Rome to film Roman Holiday with Gregory Peck. The role of Princess Anne would win her an Oscar for Best Actress, the first of five nominations throughout her career. This book tells the story of Audrey Hepburn, one of only ten actors to win a competitive Oscar, Tony, Emmy, and Grammy. But, in her eyes, possibly the best role of her career was that of Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF. Her  firsthand experiences in the Netherlands during WWII uniquely qualified her to relate to children devastated by war and famine and to convincingly advocate on their behalf to the most powerful men and women of the 1980s and 1990s.
Buy it here $9.99

Coco Chanel
9781627320177Coco Chanel, without question probably the most famous fashion designer of all time, was named by Time  magazine one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century. Her life was filled with trauma, romance, intrigue, and scandal, but her business acumen and groundbreaking talent (along with funding by her paramours) took her far beyond her humble beginnings. Chanel understood how to get what she wanted from life and never hesitated to pursue the grandest of visions. Her designs broke numerous barriers, and her influence on style and aesthetic forever changed the world, especially for women. Women’s liberation took a major step forward when Chanel made it acceptable and stylish for women to throw away their corsets and pull on pants! Moving beyond tangible style to the intangible, Chanel broke new ground when she introduced her own scent, N°5. She was the first designer to do so. Today most fashion houses have their own fragrance line, but it was Chanel who started the trend. This was but one of many trends—now considered classics—that were born of Chanel’s brilliant design mien: ropes of pearls, cardigans, jewelry cuffs, slinky jersey fabric, and more. Vive la Chanel!
Buy it here $9.99

Complete your TAJ Mini Books collection with these titles found on the Casemate Art website!

Delacroix $9.99
Mondrian $9.99
Pin-Up Girls $9.99
Botanical Prints $9.99
Paul Gauguin $9.99
Mary Cassatt
Mary Cassatt $9.99
Paul Klee
Paul Klee $9.99
French Posters
French Posters $9.99
Tarot Cards
Tarot Cards $9.99
Edvard Munch
Edvard Munch $9.99
Botticelli $9.99
Francisco de Goya
Francisco de Goya $9.99
Rembrandt $9.99

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