New York-Centric Coffee Table Books
Explore New York past and present through the lens of seminal photographers and cultural vanguards. From revelrous art world celebrities and musical icons to late-night voyeurism and fashion-conscious youth movements—here, we round up favorite photo books that pay homage to our immensely photographic city and the people who shape it.
Basquiat, Warhol, Haring. The characters of ’80s New York from East Village to SoHo are captured by photographer Paige Powell and featured in a limited-edition book series published by Dashwood and supported by Gucci. Photographed during a defining time for culture and art, the books explore three subjects: ‘Beulah Land,’ a visual diary installation that Paige created in 1984 for an art space, bar, and lounge called Beulah Land in the East Village; ‘Animals,’ a theme close to Paige’s heart as an animal activist; and ‘Artists Eating,’ which the photographer captured extensively. Pictured above: a spread from Paige Powell’s book Beulah Land featuring Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat in Andy Warhol’s studio.
Since the ’60s, photographer and author Allan Tannenbaum has been capturing iconic moments on film that have been published and exhibited all over the world. Grit and Glamour takes us back to the ’70s, capturing various aspects of the decadent decade from nightlife, fashion, and street scene to arts and entertainment and music, accompanied by colorful anecdotes and insightful commentary, including a foreword from Debbie Harry.
Read our interview with Allan Tannenbaum—here.
This official book of photographs houses the 50-year collection of the most iconic photographs taken by the King of Street Style, Bill Cunningham, published in The New York Times. Beginning in the ’70s and continuing until Cunningham’s death in 2016, this album charts the evolution of style, trends, and of the everyday, both in New York and in Paris. Beyond fashion, Cunningham’s photographs tell a tale of changing culture and the people he captures.
Walt Cassidy, aka Waltpaper, a club kid himself, grants access to the underground world of ’90s nightlife and street culture with his visual love letter to the artistic, fashion-conscious youth movement known for their outrageous looks, legendary parties, and sometimes illicit antics. They were the embodiment of Generation X and would prove to be the last definitive subculture group of the analog world.
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Ken Schles moved to the East Village in the late ’70s and picked up a camera shortly after. He began chronicling his neighborhood, his coterie of friends, and the places they went to hang out, smoke cigarettes, and just be. In doing so, Schles captured not only the bleak and deteriorating physical landscape of lower Manhattan but the unvarnished, free-spirited atmosphere of the time, much of which can be seen in his monograph Invisible City.
Read our interview with Ken Schles—here.
Bob Gruen first photographed Lennon in 1971 and became his personal photographer and close friend shortly thereafter. Over the course of the next nine years, Gruen photographed the musician, innovator, and peace activist extensively. This intimate album of photographs was published to coincide with the 35th anniversary of John Lennon’s death and the 75th anniversary of his birth and is every bit as insightful and inspiring as it sounds.
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