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The Best Art, Photography, And Coffee Table Books of 2021 (A Year-End List Aggregation)

“What are the best Art, Photography, And Coffee Table books released in 2021?” We looked at 202 of the top Art, Photography, And Coffee Table books, aggregating and ranking them so we could answer that very question!

The top 21 books, all appearing on 2 or more “Best Art, Photography, And Coffee Table” book lists, are ranked below by how many times they appear. The remaining 150+ titles, as well as the sources we used, are in alphabetical order on the bottom of the page.

Our other Best Of 2021 Articles:

Previous Years: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015

Happy Scrolling!

Top 21 Best Art, Photography, And Coffee Table Books From 2021

21.) African Artists: From 1882 to Now written byPhaidon Editors

African Artists: From 1882 to Now

Lists It Appears On:

  • Colossal
  • NY Mag

A groundbreaking A-Z survey of the work of over 300 modern and contemporary artists born or based in AfricaModern and Contemporary African art is at t…

20.) Amazônia written byJames Rollins


Lists It Appears On:

  • Colossal
  • The Guardian 2

“Gripping…a first-rate nail biter.” –Tampa Tribune James Rollins–the author of The Doomsday Key, The Last Oracle, The Judas Strain, Black Order, a…

19.) American Geography written byMatt Black

American Geography

Lists It Appears On:

  • Buzzfeed
  • The Guardian 2

When Magnum photographer Matt Black began exploring his hometown in California’s rural Central Valley–dubbed “the other California,” where one-third …

18.) Amy Winehouse: Beyond Black written byNaomi Parry

Amy Winehouse: Beyond Black

Lists It Appears On:

  • Stamp N Hand Lacrosse
  • Vogue

An affectionate and evocative visual celebration of the life and career of Amy Winehouse, including photographs, memorabilia, and the recollections of…

17.) Bird: Exploring the Winged World written byPhaidon Editors

Bird: Exploring the Winged World

Lists It Appears On:

  • Colossal
  • NPR

“The most glorious cornucopia celebrating our enduring love affair with birds – an uplifting and eye opening tribute to the way they enrich our lives….

16.) Black Food: Stories, Art, and Recipes from Across the African Diaspora written byBryant Terry

Black Food: Stories, Art, and Recipes from Across the African Diaspora

Lists It Appears On:

  • NPR 2
  • NY Mag

A beautiful, rich, and groundbreaking book exploring Black foodways within America and around the world, curated by food activist and author of Vegeta…

15.) Fabric of a Nation: American Quilt Stories written byPamela A. Parmal

Fabric of a Nation: American Quilt Stories

Lists It Appears On:

  • My Modern Met
  • NY Mag

Made by Americans of European, African, Native and Hispanic heritage, these quilts and bedcovers range from family heirlooms to acts of political prot…

14.) Ganni: Gimme More written byGanni

Ganni: Gimme More

Lists It Appears On:

  • Marie Claire
  • NY Mag

13.) Judy Chicago: In the Making written by

Judy Chicago: In the Making

Lists It Appears On:

  • NY Mag
  • Vogue

One of the founding forces behind the 1970s feminist art movement, Judy Chicago became widely known for The Dinner Party, a massive installation turni…

12.) Lady Bird Screenplay Book written byGreta Gerwig

Lady Bird Screenplay Book

Lists It Appears On:

  • Marie Claire
  • NY Mag

11.) Polaroid Now written bySteve Crist & Oskar Smolokowski

Polaroid Now

Lists It Appears On:

  • Marie Claire
  • NY Mag

10.) Street Portraits written byDawoud Bey

Street Portraits

Lists It Appears On:

  • Buzzfeed
  • My Modern Met

Recipient of a 2017 MacArthur Foundation “genius grant,” Dawoud Bey has created a body of photography that masterfully portrays the contemporary Ameri…

9.) The Mirror and the Palette: Rebellion, Revolution and Resilience: Five Hundred Years of Women’s Self Portraits written byJennifer Higgie

The Mirror and the Palette: Rebellion, Revolution and Resilience: Five Hundred Years of Women's Self Portraits

Lists It Appears On:

  • Five Books
  • NPR 2

A dazzlingly original and ambitious book on the history of female self-portraiture by one of today’s most well-respected art critics. Her story weaves…

8.) Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji written byAndreas Marks

Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji

Lists It Appears On:

  • Colossal
  • My Modern Met

Famous First Edition: First printing of 6,000 numbered copiesMount Fuji has long been a centerpiece of Japanese cultural imagination, and nothing capt…

7.) Toyin Ojih Odutola: The Umueze Amara Clan and the House of Obafemi written byToyin Ojih Odutola

Toyin Ojih Odutola: The Umueze Amara Clan and the House of Obafemi

Lists It Appears On:

  • NY Mag
  • Vogue

A seminal work by one of today’s most vital figurative artists explores the complexity of race, wealth, and class through storytelling and multimedia …

6.) Two Worlds: Above and Below the Sea written byDavid Doubilet

Two Worlds: Above and Below the Sea

Lists It Appears On:

  • Colossal
  • Stamp N Hand Lacrosse

The first major book in two decades by the pioneering underwater photographer, beloved as the ‘Audubon of the sea’The ocean covers more than seventy p…

5.) Vivid: Style in Colour written byArmelle Habib

Vivid: Style in Colour

Lists It Appears On:

  • Booktopia
  • Stamp N Hand Lacrosse

It’s 1876 and Dr. Viveca Lancaster is frustrated by the limits placed upon female physicians of color. When she is offered the chance to set up a prac…

4.) Woman Made: Great Women Designers written byJane Hall

Woman Made: Great Women Designers

Lists It Appears On:

  • Marie Claire
  • NPR

The most comprehensive, fully illustrated book on women designers ever published – a celebration of more than 200 women product designers from the ear…

3.) Zanele Muholi written byAllen Sarah & Yasufumi Nakori

Zanele Muholi

Lists It Appears On:

  • Marie Claire
  • NY Mag

2.) Spring Cannot Be Cancelled written byDavid Hockney

Spring Cannot Be Cancelled

Lists It Appears On:

  • Financial Times
  • The Guardian
  • Vogue

On turning eighty, David Hockney sought out rustic tranquility for the first time: a place to watch the sunset and the change of the seasons; a place …

1.) Frida Kahlo. The Complete Paintings written byLuis-Martin Lozano, Andrea Kettenmann, and Marina Vazquez Ramos

Frida Kahlo. The Complete Paintings

Lists It Appears On:

  • Colossal
  • Marie Claire
  • My Modern Met
  • NY Mag
  • Stamp N Hand Lacrosse
  • Vogue

Among the few women artists who have transcended art history, none had a meteoric rise quite like Mexican painter Frida Kahlo (1907-1954). Her unmista…

The 150+ Additional Best Art, Photography, And Coffee Table Books Released In 2021

22) 1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows – Ai Weiwei List: The Guardian
23) 1000 Record Covers – List: Hi Consumption
24) 75 Years of Marvel: From the Golden Age to the Silver Screen – List: Hi Consumption
25) A Big Important Art Book (Now With Women) – Danielle Krysa List: My Modern Met
26) A Life in Pattern – List: Booktopia
27) A Life of Picasso – John Richardson List: Vogue
28) A Parallel Road – Amani Willett List: Buzzfeed
29) A Room of Her Own – List: Booktopia
30) A Splendid Intelligence: The Life of Elizabeth Hardwick – List: Vogue
31) A Tuscan Adventure—Castello Di Potentino: The Restoration of a Castle – List: Vogue
32) About Time: Celebrating Men’s Watches – List: Hi Consumption
33) Aerial Art – Ingrid Hendriksen List: The Momentum
34) Afrosurf – List: NY Mag
35) Aftermath: Cadgee 2020 – Ian Skinner List: The Momentum
36) Afterthoughts – Judy Parker List: The Momentum
37) Albert and the Whale – List: The Guardian
38) Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser – List: Vogue
39) American Protest: Photographs 2020–2021 – Mel D. Cole List: Buzzfeed
40) Annie Leibovitiz: Wonderland – List: NY Mag
41) Apocalypse Now: The Lost Photo Archive – List: NY Mag
42) Art =: Discovering Infinite Connections in Art History – The Metropolitan Museum of Art List: Marie Claire
43) Art of Atari – List: Hi Consumption
44) As We Rise: Photography from the Black Atlantic – List: Vogue
45) At Glacier’s End – List: Hi Consumption
46) Atlas of Interior Design – List: NY Mag
47) Banksy Graffitied Walls and Wasn’t Sorry – List: Colossal
48) Beata Heuman – Every room should sing – List: Stamp N Hand Lacrosse
49) Between Girls – Karen Marshell List: Buzzfeed
50) Big Book of Land Rover – List: Hi Consumption
51) Big Wave Surfer: The Greatest Rides of Our Lives – List: NY Mag
52) Bill Cunningham Was There: Spring Flings + Summer Soirées – List: NY Mag
53) Black Futures – Kimberly Drew & Jenna Wortham List: Marie Claire
54) Boogie Boogie, Y’all – C.G. Esperanza List: NPR 2
55) Cabin Porn: Inspiration for Your Quiet Place Somewhere – List: Hi Consumption
56) Cabins – List: Hi Consumption
57) Catherine Opie – Catherine Opie List: Buzzfeed
58) Chanel 3-Book Slipcase – Anne Berest, Fabienne Reybaud & Marion Vignal List: Marie Claire
59) Chasing Me to My Grave: An Artist’s Memoir of the Jim Crow South – Winfred Rembert and Erin I. Kelly List: NPR 2
60) Chinatown Pretty – Andria Lo & Valerie Luu List: Marie Claire
61) Christian Dior – List: Booktopia
62) Christo and Jeanne-Claude. L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped – List: NY Mag
63) Color Scheme – Edith Young List: My Modern Met
64) Come Fly with Me: Flying in Style – List: NY Mag
65) Cook This Book: Techniques That Teach and Recipes to Repeat: A Cookbook – List: NY Mag
66) Curate – List: Booktopia
67) Custom Bike Life: Passion, Stories & Adventures – List: Hi Consumption
68) Dads – Bart Heynen List: Buzzfeed
69) David Fincher: Mind Games – List: Vogue
70) David Hockney: The Arrival of Spring in Normandy – List: NY Mag
71) Dazed: 30 Years Confused: The Covers – List: NY Mag
72) de Young 125 – List: Vogue
73) Dolly Parton, Songteller – Dolly Parton & Robert K. Oermann List: Marie Claire
74) Everything is Beautiful – Alma W. Thomas List: My Modern Met
75) Eye to Eye: Portraits of Lesbians – JEB List: Buzzfeed
76) Family Matters – List: NY Mag
77) Food & Drink Infographics: A Visual Guide to Culinary Pleasures – List: Hi Consumption
78) For Promotional Use Only – List: NY Mag
79) Friday Night Lives – Robert Clark List: Buzzfeed
80) From Thread to Needle: Contemporary Embroidery Art – Charlotte Vannier List: My Modern Met
81) Full Bleed: New York City Skateboard Photography – List: Hi Consumption
82) Garbo – List: Vogue
83) Getaway: Food and drink to transport you – List: Stamp N Hand Lacrosse
84) Gillian Laub: Family Matters – List: Vogue
85) Gray Malin: The Essential Collection – Gray Malin List: Marie Claire
86) Gregory Crewdson: Alone Street – List: Vogue
87) Gus Van Sant: The Art of Making Movies – List: NY Mag
88) Hello Future – Farah Al Qasimi List: Buzzfeed
89) Hi-Fi: The History of High-End Audio Design – List: Hi Consumption
90) Hilma AF Klint: The Complete Catalogue Raisonné: Volumes I-VII. – List: Colossal
91) Hit the Road: Vans, Nomads and Roadside Adventures – List: Hi Consumption
92) Hokusai – List: Financial Times
93) Home Farm Cooking – List: NY Mag
94) Home: A Celebration: Notable Voices Reflect on the Meaning of Home – List: Vogue
95) How Photography Became Contemporary Art – List: Financial Times
96) HRH: So Many Thoughts on Royal Style – Elizabeth Holmes List: Marie Claire
97) Humans – Brandon Stanton List: Marie Claire
98) I Can Make You Feel Good – Tyler Mitchell List: Marie Claire
99) I Can’t Stand to See You Cry – Rahim Fortune List: Buzzfeed
100) i saw the air fly – Sirkhane Darkroom List: Buzzfeed
101) Icons – Micaela Heekin and Monica Ahanonu List: Marie Claire
102) Imagined Places – Hemant Kogekar List: The Momentum
103) In Plain Air – Irina Rozovsky List: Buzzfeed
104) In: A Graphic Novel – Will McPhail List: NPR 2
105) Interior Space – Paolo Nespoli, Alice Gorman, Jeffrey S. Nesbit & Roland Miller List: Marie Claire
106) Jeff Koons: Lost in America – List: Vogue
107) Jewels That Made History – Stellene Volandes List: Marie Claire
108) Juergen Teller – List: NY Mag
109) Kaleidoscope – Brian Selznick List: NPR 2
110) Kara Walker: A Black Hole Is Everything a Star Longs to Be – List: NY Mag
111) Karl: No Regrets – List: NY Mag
112) KAWS What Party – List: NY Mag
113) Koreatown Dreaming – Emanuel Hahn List: Buzzfeed
114) LAPD 1994 – Joseph Rodriguez List: Buzzfeed
115) Latinx Photography in the United States: A Visual History – Elizabeth Ferrer List: Buzzfeed
116) Legacy: Women Poets of the Harlem Renaissance – Nikki Grimes List: The Guardian 2
117) Letters to Camondo – Edmund De Waal List: The Guardian
118) Luxury: A History – List: Vogue
119) Marc Newson: Works – List: Hi Consumption
120) Marimekko: The Art of Printmaking – List: NY Mag
121) Master of the Midcentury: The Architecture of William F. Cody – List: NPR
122) Masterworks of Modern Photography 1900–1940: The Thomas Walther Collection at the Museum of Modern Art, New York – Sarah Hermanson Meister List: Five Books
123) Match Point: Tennis by Martin Parr – List: NY Mag
124) McNally Editions paperbacks – List: Vogue
125) Miami Beach – Horacio Silva List: Marie Claire
126) Mickalene Thomas – List: Vogue
127) Mister Jiu’s in Chinatown: Recipes and Stories from the Birthplace of Chinese American Food – List: NY Mag
128) Modernist getaways – List: Stamp N Hand Lacrosse
129) Moments on the Water’s Edge – Deborah Forbes List: The Momentum
130) Monsters – Barry Windsor-Smith List: NPR 2
131) Moonlight’ Screenplay Book By Tarell Alvin McCraney – List: Marie Claire
132) Naeem Khan: Embellished – Naeem Khan List: Marie Claire
133) Naomi’ (Updated Edition) By Josh Baker – List: Marie Claire
134) Nature’s Palette: A Color Reference System from the Natural World – List: Colossal
135) New Native Kitchen: Celebrating Modern Recipes of the American Indian – List: Vogue
136) New York Interiors – List: Vogue
137) New York Paradise Lost: Bushwick Era Disco – Meryl Meisler List: Buzzfeed
138) Night Bus – Zuo Ma, translated by Orion Martin List: NPR 2
139) Nike: Better is Temporary – List: NY Mag
140) Non-Extractive Architecture: On Designing Without Depletion – Space Caviar List: Five Books
141) Nonbinary: A Memoir – Genesis P-Orridge List: NPR 2
142) Off the Road – List: Hi Consumption
143) Off the Walls – Sara Waldorf and Annelisa Stephan List: My Modern Met
144) On Freedom: Four Songs of Care and Constraint – Maggie Nelson List: NPR 2
145) Overview: A New Perspective of Earth – List: Hi Consumption
146) Paperists: Infinite Possibilities in Paper Art – List: Colossal
147) Peaceable Kingdom – Sage Sohier List: Buzzfeed
148) Photo No-Nos: Meditations on What Not to Photograph – Jason Fulford List: Buzzfeed
149) Pop Song: Adventures in Art and Intimacy – Larissa Pham List: NPR 2
150) Porsche Milestones – List: Hi Consumption
151) Principles of Style – List: Booktopia
152) Rainbow Revolution – Magnus Hastings List: Marie Claire
153) Resident Dog: Incredible Homes and the Dogs That Live There – List: Hi Consumption
154) Rihanna – Rihanna List: Marie Claire
155) Santa Barbara – Diana Markosian List: Buzzfeed
156) Slim Aarons: Style – List: NY Mag
157) Solid Ivory: Memoirs – List: Vogue
158) Sorry for the War – Peter van Agtmael List: Buzzfeed
159) SPIKE – List: NY Mag
160) Still Life – Sarah Winman List: Vogue
161) Street Art in the Time of Corona – Xavier Tapies List: My Modern Met
162) Sue Kwon: Rap Is Risen: New York Photographs 1988–2008 – List: NY Mag
163) Synagogues: Marvels of Judaism – List: Vogue
164) Taste Makers: Seven Immigrant Women Who Revolutionized Food in America – Mayukh Sen List: Vogue
165) Tattoo 1730s -1970s – Henk Schiffmacher List: My Modern Met
166) Tengo un Dragón Dentro del Corazón – Carlota Guerrero List: Buzzfeed
167) The Carhartt WIP Archives – List: Hi Consumption
168) The Free World: Art and Thought in the Cold War – Louis Menand List: NPR 2
169) The Genius Under the Table: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain – Eugene Yelchin List: NPR 2
170) The Isolation Artist: Scandal, Deception, and the Last Days of Robert Indiana – Bob Keyes List: NPR 2
171) The Italian Renaissance Altarpiece – List: Financial Times
172) The Joy of Basketball: An Encyclopedia of the Modern Game – List: NY Mag
173) The King’s Painter: The Life and Times of Hans Holbein – Franny Moyle List: Vogue
174) The Local – Nick Meyer List: Buzzfeed
175) The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present – List: NY Mag
176) The NoMad Cocktail Book – List: Hi Consumption
177) The Personal Librarian – Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray List: NPR 2
178) The Renaissance Cities – List: Financial Times
179) The Ride Book – List: Hi Consumption
180) The Secret Lives of Color – Kassia St. Claire List: My Modern Met
181) The Secrets of LEGO House – List: NY Mag
182) The Sleeve Should Be Illegal: & Other Reflections on Art at the Frick – Adam Gopnik, Ian Wardropper & Michaelyn Mitchell List: Five Books
183) The Unwinding and other dreamings – List: NPR
184) The Watch Book – List: Hi Consumption
185) The Year That Changed Our World – List: The Guardian 2
186) There and Back: Photographs from the Edge – List: NY Mag
187) This Dark Country: Women Artists, Still Life and Intimacy in the Early Twentieth Century – List: The Guardian
188) Tom Ford 002 – List: Booktopia
189) Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air – List: Hi Consumption
190) Trixie and Katya’s Guide to Modern Womanhood – Trixie Mattel & Katya List: Marie Claire
191) Ultimate Art Museum – List: NY Mag
192) Uzbekistan: Avant-Garde Orientalists – List: Vogue
193) Vanishing Points – Michael Sherwin List: Buzzfeed
194) Virgil Abloh: Figures of Speech – List: Hi Consumption
195) Vital Voices – Alyse Nelson and Gayle Kabaker List: Marie Claire
196) Vivian Maier Developed: The Untold Story of the Photographer Nanny – List: Vogue
197) Vivienne Westwood: Parade – List: Stamp N Hand Lacrosse
198) Waves: Pro Surfers and Their World – List: Hi Consumption
199) What Artists Wear – Charlie Porter List: Five Books
200) Where They Purr – List: Booktopia
201) William Morris – List: NPR
202) Wings on Water – Amanda Luker List: The Momentum

16 Best Art, Photography, And Coffee Table Book Sources/Lists

The Momentum APS Photobook Competition winners 2021
Booktopia The Best Books of 2021: Beautiful Books
Buzzfeed Here Are 24 Photo Books That Brought Us Meaning And Joy In 2021
Colossal Colossal’s Favorite Books of 2021
Financial Times Best books of 2021: Visual arts
The Guardian The best art books of 2021
The Guardian 2 The best photography books of 2021
My Modern Met 12 Best Art Books of 2021 To Keep You Creatively Inspired for Years
NPR A visual feast: 5 favorite art books of 2021
NPR 2 Books We Love
Five Books The Best Art Books of 2021
Vogue Season’s Readings! The 28 Best Coffee Table Books to Gift This Holiday Season
NY Mag 41 of the Year’s Most Giftable Coffee-Table Books
Marie Claire 26 Coffee Table Books to Liven Up Your Living Room
Hi Consumption The 25 Best Coffee Table Books of 2021