Need a quick housewarming gift or birthday present? We’ve got you covered: coffee table book.! These massive tomes are great for surprising your pickiest friend or hard-to-buy-for sister. The variety of topics are endless and often include in-depth looks at subjects on fashion, art, photography and much, much more.
We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite art-filled coffee table books to own, gift, or share. Read on for some great recommendations, and if any of these books strikes a chord you can click the cover to make a purchase.
The Art Book
This quintessential coffee table book is the perfect starting point for your art education. The Art Book is an A to Z guide to some of the greatest artists of all time. Over 100 artists from all periods and mediums are featured in this giant book, which includes both examples of their work and explanatory text. You’ll be up-to-date on painters, sculptors, photographers, performance artists and more after flipping through this volume.
De Kooning: A Retrospective
Art fans won’t want to miss this extensive volume on abstract expressionist painter Willem de Kooning. This retrospective volume covers the nearly 70 year career of the famed artist, and includes over 200 pieces of his work. The book even includes some of his sculptures, drawings and prints — reminding readers that de Kooning was much more than just a painter.
The Secret Art of Dr. Seuss
You’ve probably read at least a few of Dr. Seuss’ whimsical stories, but there’s more to the artist than meets the eye. This coffee table tome highlights the private works of the famed storyteller (also known as Theodore Geisel), and displays a different side of his work than that seen in his famous children’s books.
Wall and Piece
This coffee table book is a must-own for street art fans. Published in 2007, this title features the work of the now infamous global street art phenomenon Banksy. Produced by the artist himself, the book provides an inside look at Banksy’s street art philosophy around the time he began blowing up in popularity around the globe.
Los Angeles: Portrait of a City
This photographic tribute to the City of Angels includes over 500 images from L.A.’s past by photographers like Julius Shulman, Gary Winogrand and more. You’ll get an amazing look at the city’s transformation from a desert wasteland to a sprawling metropolis.
Paris in Color
If you’d rather get more international, check out this coffee table photography book by Nichole Robertson. Robertson’s perfect pictures take you through the romantic city of Paris, with particular emphasis on its vibrant urban color.
Humans of New York
Fans of the mega-popular photography project will definitely want to check out this hardbound collection of creator Brandon Stanton’s photos. Like the blog, the book features everyday shots of New Yorkers, accompanied by brief anecdotes on their lives.
If you didn’t guess by the title, this photography book centers on the art of tattooing. Tattoo doesn’t just focus on modern tattoos, though. Instead, the book looks more at the history of the art form, from its origins in primitive Asian and African countries up to its modern popularity. Oh, and you’ll get to check out plenty of expertly inked bodies.
The Wes Anderson Collection
Want an inside look at the quirky films of Wes Anderson? Then check out this coffee table book by film/television critic Matt Zoler Seitz. This expansive tome features unpublished behind-the-scenes photos, artwork, and more from Anderson’s filmography, giving fans a unique peek at the indie darling’s exceptional work.
Vogue: The Covers
Fashion aficionados will definitely want to check out this awesome compendium. Vogue: The Covers compiles covers from throughout the famed fashion magazine’s career, spanning its inception in 1892 through the modern day. The covers feature work from noted artists including Mario Testino, Richard Avedon, Annie Leibovitz and more. While the book doesn’t feature some of Vogue’s most recent classics like (it was printed in 2011), there’s more than enough iconic covers to enjoy.
Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty
This eye-popping book takes an in-depth look at the work of designer Alexander McQueen, from the early days of his fashion career to his rise as on of the industry’s preeminent designers. You’ll also get an insightful look at the development of McQueen’s specific aesthetic, and the work done for his pitch-perfect runway shows. It also has one of the most insane book covers of all time.
These are just a few of our favorite suggestions, tell us which books you love to own or gift. Not only are they great information, they also look stunning on a console, coffee or bedside table. Happy reading!