Thames & Hudson Inc former president Peter Warner dies, aged 79

Thames & Hudson Inc former president Peter Warner dies, aged 79

Peter Warner, former president and publisher of Thames & Hudson Inc in New York, has died at the age of 79 from complications of myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). 

The news was announced “with great sorrow” in a statement from the organisation's current publisher and president Will Balliett in New York. 

Warner, who died on 9th September, retired from Thames & Hudson (T&H) 12 years ago, having been president of the company for 31 years.

Balliett said: “After working at both the Book of the Month Club and the Museum of Modern Art, Peter was handed the reins of Thames & Hudson Inc by its first North American publisher, Paul Gottlieb, in 1979 and steered the company with great skill, imagination and energy until his retirement in 2009.

"In addition to establishing a North American publishing programme of consistently high standards over three decades, Peter’s many accomplishments include the creation of a successful college textbook program—in conjunction with T&H’s long-time US distributor, W W Norton & Company—with a focus on archaeology, ancient history and art history.” 

Warner helped steer the T&H Gateways to Art, which has become a major art appreciation title in the college market, now in its third edition, and launched such titles as Art Since 1900 and Archaeology. On the trade side, he oversaw publications such as Joseph Cornell’s Manual of Marvels and Rainbow Goblins, as well as the World of Art series and the series Hip Hotels and Most Beautiful Villages.  

He was also a key member of Thames & Hudson board of directors, until he retired from that body at the end of 2020, and a published novelist.

After retiring, Warner was based in New Jersey and focused on his own writing and editing. Mr Mole: The Cold War Memoir of Winston Bates was published by Thomas Dunne/St Martins Press. He also organised, compiled and edited the text and captions of the photographer Jacques Lowe's memoir about JFK, The Kennedy Years (Rizzoli).  

“Peter’s legacy is still visible both throughout Thames & Hudson Inc’s backlist and in the highly effective organisation he built during his tenure," Balliett added. "Peter was ever a willing and wise ear to his former colleagues and his many friends in publishing, and he will be sorely missed.” 

Thomas Neurath, chairman of T&H Holdings, commented: “The group benefited immensely from Peter keeping the management and editors in London abreast of the fast-moving changes and developments in the US market.”   

In lieu of flowers or gifts, his family has requested that donations be made to the Myelodysplastic Syndromes Foundation.