Cover: Vendome Press; Background: Twenty20
Credit: Cover: Vendome Press; Background: Twenty20

18 Coffee-Table Books to Gift This Holiday Season

PureWow

Forget jewelry and bottles of wine. This year, our go-to holiday gift is a gorgeous new coffee-table book. Here are 18 titles we’ll be buying for our near and dear (and, okay, ourself).

Cover: Phaidon Press; Background: Twenty20

Annie Leibovitz: Portraits 2005 – 2016 by Annie Leibovitz

Leibovitz is one of the most influential photographers of our time, and this latest collection of her work features both iconic portraits and never-before-published photographs of subjects ranging from Gloria Steinem and George Clooney to Stephen Colbert and Michelle Obama.

Cover: Harry N. Abrams; Background: Twenty20

Avedon’s France by Robert M. Rubin and Marianne le Galliard

American fashion photographer Richard Avedon was famously fascinated with France. This book is a collection of his photographs, interviews, letters, and essays that explore his lifelong love affair with the country.

Cover: Hatje Cantz; Background: Twenty20

Fred Herzog: Modern Color by Fred Herzog

Best known for his unusual use of color photography in the 50s and 60s (when art photography was almost exclusively black and white), Canadian artist Herzog was a pioneer, as evidenced by this book’s 230 images (many of which have never been reproduced before).

Cover: Skira Rizzoli; Background: Twenty20

Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg by Michael Darling

A definitive survey of the paintings of Japanese contemporary artist Murakami, The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg explores his relationship to traditional Japanese painting and the many contrasts in his work – high and low, ancient and modern, Eastern and Western, commercial and high art.

Cover: 24 ORE Cultura S.r.l.; Background: Twenty20

Cy Twombly by Jonas Storsve

With an oeuvre extending over six decades, American artist Twombly fused abstract expressionism with classical European and Mediterranean culture. This gorgeous book accompanies a retrospective at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, one of the largest exhibitions on his work to date.

Cover: Rizzoli; Background: Twenty20

In Full Flower by Gemma Ingalls and Andrew Ingalls

Calling all non-traditionalists: The Ingalls’ tome is a celebration of a new wave in contemporary floral design, featuring artists who combine traditional techniques with an organic, freeform style.

Cover: Rizzoli; Background: Twenty20

100 Buildings by Thom Mayne and Eui-Sung Yi

To create this primer on iconic modern buildings, more than 40 internationally renowned architects and educators – including the late Zaha Hadid – were asked to list their top 100 20th-century architectural projects. The results—from the Gehry House in Santa Monica to the Museu de Arte de São Paulo in Brazil – do not disappoint.

Cover: Vendome Press; Background: Twenty20

Haute Bohemians by Miguel Flores-Vianna

Photographer Flores-Vianna traveled across four continents to capture a group of creatives who embody the idea of modern bohemia both in their personal lives and in their homes, which range from country cottages and beach bungalows to East Village apartments and fancy châteaux.

Cover: Little, Brown and Co.; Background: Twenty20

Obama: An Intimate Portrait by Pete Souza

Souza was Chief Official White House Photographer for both of President Obama’s terms. He took more than 2 million shots of Obama, in happy times and devastating, many of which are reproduced (along with behind-the-scenes stories) in this fascinating collection.

Cover: Prestel; Background: Twenty20

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors by Mika Yoshitake and Alexander Dumbadze

This whimsical and kaleidoscopic book explores renowned Japanese artist Kusama’s best-known series, the Infinity Mirror Rooms (you’ve probably seen it on Instagram), and its influence on contemporary art over the past 50 years. 

Cover: Assouline; Background: Twenty20

Donald: The Book by Donald Robertson

Funny and smart, Robertson has been called “the Andy Warhol of Instagram.” (We’re huge fans.) His illustrations are stylish, playful, and well worth a spot on your coffee table.

Cover: Abrams; Background: Twenty20

Food in Vogue by Vogue Editors

Featuring original essays by longtime Vogue food critic Jeffrey Steingarten and elegant, mouthwatering food photography by the likes of Irving Penn, Food in Vogue examines the magazine’s relationship with and treatment of food.

Cover: Rizzoli; Background: Twenty20

Dream Spaces by Victoria Hagan

Hagan is an eminent interior designer (who always gets a spot on Architectural Digest‘s AD100) best known for timeless and comfortable American style. Her much-anticipated second book presents a showstopping glance at her soft, modern aesthetic and pointed juxtaposition of luxury and simplicity.

Cover: Gibbs Smith; Background: Twenty20

New York Behind Closed Doors by Polly Devlin

A look inside the homes of 24 New York artists, designers, writers, and influencers, Devlin’s book examines how each space expresses the resident’s unique personality through captivating photographs and in-depth interviews.

Cover: Chronicle Books; Background: Twenty20

Houseplants and Hot Sauce by Sally Nixon

A cheeky seek-and-find book for grown-ups, Houseplants and Hot Sauce pairs illustrated scenes from the life of a modern gal – including brunch with friends and shopping for succulents – with clever and funny visual puzzles.

Cover: Taschen; Background: Twenty20

Dalí: Les Dîners de Gala by Salvador Dalí

Originally published in 1973, this surrealist cookbook features 136 recipes – illustrated by Dalí – that were served during the opulent dinner parties the artist threw with his wife and muse, Gala. The recipes are also accompanied by Dalí’s extravagant musings like: “The jaw is our best tool to grasp philosophical knowledge.” Hmm…

Cover: Ecco; Background: Twenty20

Diane Arbus: Portrait of a Photographer by Arthur Lubow

This definitive Arbus biography is an absorbing exploration of the link between the 20th-century photographer’s life and her iconic photographs (many of which are featured in a gorgeous insert).

Cover: Rizzoli; Background: Twenty20

At Home with Dogs and Their Designers by Susanna Salk

Salk’s delightful new book features the high-style-meets-pet-friendly secrets of 22 designer dog parents. Essential reading for anyone with an eye for design and a heart for man’s best friend.

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