Johan Polak was a publisher, classical scholar, essayist, Maecenas and book collector. He was the founder of what is now Athenaeum-Polak & Van Gennep Publishers, known for its series of classical literature. He also set up the Athenaeum bookstore in Amsterdam. Among Polak’s works is Bloei der decadence (1991). He was one of the co-founders of the journal Nexus in 1991.