The coffee-table-book sphere is an unwieldy one, filled with hundreds of options for those of you looking for a bind of beautiful visuals to spruce up your home. To make your selection easier, we have shortlisted the best publications with some of the most iconic photographs of all time.
Paris de Nuit by Brassaï
Brassaï was the pseudonym of Gyula Halász – a Hungarian photographer, sculptor, and ﬁlmmaker best known in France. While working as a journalist, he took countless photos of Paris after dark. Paris de Nuit was his ﬁrst published book of photographs. If you’re reminiscing the European life or simply want a book full of Parisian nostalgia, this is the one to grab.
I Want to Take Picture by Bill Burke
Part travelogue, part art, I Want to Take Picture follows Burke as he explores South East Asia and the Khmer Rouge. Although the pictures have a nineteenth-century feel, the book is also a diary that records a twentieth-century experience. The result is a kaleidoscopic impression of his journeys, taking the book out of the documentary realm and into that of the personal road trip. A great one for those with a serious case of the wanderlust.
The Decisive Moment by Henri Cartier-Bresson
A true classic — this Cartier-Bresson book of published images from 1952 is a memorable one. The book’s iconic cover was drawn by Henri Matisse, who died in 1954. An essay prefaces the book with Cartier-Bresson’s thoughts on why everything has a decisive moment. The book has since inﬂuenced generations of photographers and is nothing short of an investment for the discerning home.
Moments Preserved by Irving Penn
Legendary fashion photographer Irving Penn published this book in 1960 with a print run of 20,000 in French, Italian, German, and English. Penn spent his early career with Vogue magazine, and Moments Preserved is an overview of these ﬁrst years. The photographs include some of the great Penn portraits from Cuzco, Peru.
Poolside with Slim Aarons
Like its predecessors, Once Upon a Time and A Place in the Sun, Poolside with Slim Aarons offers images of jet-setters and the wealthy, glittering lives of the absolute rich of the world, with a twist. The main character is pools — from the Caribbean to Italy and Mexico to Monaco. The perfect summer photo book for those missing the pool life.
Images of Women II by Peter Lindbergh
One of the ultimate books in fashion photography, Peter Lindbergh’s Images of Women II, has a cult following of aspiring photographers in fashion. The internationally acclaimed photographer, known for his iconic portraits of ’80s supermodels, is ideal for those interested to bring some of that glamour into their living room.
Andy Warhol Portraits: 1958-1987 by Richard B. Woodward
While we’re more than familiar with Andy Warhol’s photography and screen prints, it’s his polaroids that really set his work apart. He was rarely seen without the iconic camera, which he used at every party and event to document the personalities of his day, many of whom were celebrities. The iconic book cover with Grace Jones on it is alone enough for anyone to covet a copy.