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Coffee Table Curator

Robert Doisneau, Taschen, 69.99 USD

One of the most popular French photographers of all time, Robert Doisneau roamed the streets of Paris, occasionally with friend and contemporary Henri Cartier-Bresson, and took photos in a photojournalistic style, which was then considered new and exciting. The publishing of this monograph saw unlimited access to Doisneau's archives and features more than 400 images taken during his prolific career; it's the most wide-ranging collection ever presented for the public to see. Although Le baiser de l'hôtel de ville–arguably one of the most recognized photographs in the world–is included, the book also displays many of his lesser-known images. 

Sam Taylor-Johnson: Second Floor, Steidl, 78 USD

If you've ever wanted an exclusive look into Coco Chanel's famed private Parisian apartment, this may be your best chance. Filmmaker, photographer, and visual artist Sam Taylor-Johnson had the rare opportunity to capture the ambiance of the designer's second-floor apartment on the Rue Cambon. The result is a beautifully haunting photo series that provides a glimpse into the icon's mysterious life, as the apartment is exactly the way Chanel left it before her death in 1971. A few items captured include antique furniture, glimmering chandeliers, leather-bound books, and decorative ornaments. Très agréable. 

Le Pliage By Longchamp: Tradition And Transformation, Assouline, 25 USD

It's doubtful that a day goes by without seeing at least half a dozen of Longchamp's famed Le Pliage handbags out and about. Whether traveling, shopping at a farmer's market, or stuffed for daily use, the roomy and easily foldable bags have become staples with their lasting durability and value. Philippe Cassegrain, the son of the founder of Longchamp, designed the bag 20 years ago, and it's now estimated that over 30 million Le Pliages have been sold globally. This book displays the colorful evolution of the bag throughout the years.




Robert Mapplethorpe: The Nymph Photography, Skira, 55 USD

The photography of Robert Mapplethorpe has long been revered for its provocative, powerful, and erotic nature. Whether through nudes, portraits, self-portraits, and sometimes even still lifes, Mapplethorpe's progressive photographic repertoire is regarded as one of the most important and influential in the 20th century. His highly stylized black-and-white photographs of the underground club scene in New York that often portrayed homoeroticism, reigned supreme in the late '60s and early '70s (and often appeared in Interview). Curated by noted art critic Germano Celant, this volume attests to this claim with over 140 career-spanning images and accompanying texts.




The Photography Book, Phaidon, 59.99 USD

As close to a dictionary of photography as possible, this extensive volume is arranged alphabetically by photographer and features upward of 500 images, beginning with the birth of the medium in the mid-19th century. Whether you prefer the work of early pioneers like Gustave Le Gray, the pre-Photoshop conceptual combination printing of Henry Peach Robinson, or the more modern fashion spreads of Richard Avedon, the book adeptly covers each development and movement within photography, providing helpful text and glossaries with concise insights along the way.




Word and Image, Abrams, 40 USD

In the 19th century, a group of artists opened The National Art Library-located on the first floor of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London-aiming to assist other artists and designers with their various creative endeavors. Now open to the public, the reference library is one of the best in the world that specializes in fine and decorative arts. This book celebrates the library's history by featuring over 100 different objects and books that have helped define the power of the arts, ranging from Yves Saint Laurent's design sketches to rare and collectable books publishing during the Renaissance.