Home / Art15 Must-Have Art Books for the Creative Mind

15 Must-Have Art Books for the Creative Mind

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There's nothing like flipping through the pages of a beautiful coffee table book to get inspired, and the holiday season is the perfect time to gift the creative person in your life with a book. Fresh from the printing press, this list highlights a wide range of interests—meaning you're sure to find the perfect gift. From stunning photography to heartwarming stories, here's our 2016 holiday gift guide of 15 must-have art books for the creative mind.

art books salvador dali

Dalí: Les Dîners de Gala by Salvador Dalí | $35.99
Step inside Salvador Dalí's surreal world with his newly reissued cookbook. The illustrated work was inspired by the lavish dinner parties he and wife Gala organized. Read more on My Modern Met

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The Art of Movement by Ken Browar and Deborah Ory | $31.45
You don't have to be a dancer to appreciate these dazzling images of the NYC Dance Project. In addition to incredible photography, this 300 page book also includes interviews with more than 70 dancers. Read more on My Modern Met

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Beaches by Gray Malin | $25.47
Gary Malin photographs beaches across the globe from doorless helicopters. The result are artful images that provide a visual escape. Read more on My Modern Met

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Back in the Days by Jamel Shabazz | $31.44
Jamel Shabazz is the master of documenting a burgeoning hip-hop culture, bringing his camera to the streets of New York in the 1980s. This historic book, with an introduction by Fab 5 Freddy, highlights his best work. Read more on My Modern Met

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Shop Cats of New York by Tamar Arslanian and Andrew Marttila | $17.48
Cat lovers will enjoy Tamar Arslanian's witty text and Andrew Marttila's gorgeous photos of 40 urban felines across New York City, in what has been called “Humans of New York meets The French Cat.

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As Time Goes By by Barbara Davatz | $70.44
Barbara Davatz followed 12 couples for 30 years to document their evolution in black and white. Her book compiles all images from the series, which has been exhibited across Switzerland. Read more on My Modern Met

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Plant. Exploring the Botanical World | $48.66
Garden and art-lovers will rejoice with this new volume that contains 300 of the most beautiful and cutting-edge botanical images through history.

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In the Company of Women by Grace Bonney | $21.24
In her new book, Design*Sponge founder Grace Bonney taps top female makers, artists, and entrepreneurs for their advice. The interviews are sure to inspire.

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Where’s Banksy? By Xavier Tapies | $37.50
This meticulously researched book traces Banksy's work across the world in chronological maps. Put on your investigator's cap and you might gain clues into the identity of this illusive street artist.

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Rodney Smith Photographs by Rodney Smith | $46.55
Legendary fashion and portrait photographer Rodney Smith crowd funded this book, which pulls together four decades of his work. The deeply personal publication includes personal reflections culled from the photographer's blog. Read more on My Modern Met

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The Mara by Anup Shah | $39.95
Shah takes us up close and personal with Kenyan wildlife in his latest book. The black and white images are stripped of artifice, showing us the animals as they really are. Read more on My Modern Met

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Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders | $17.50
Our friends at Atlas Obscura have put together the perfect gift for any lover of quirky facts. Learn about over 700 of the world's strangest hidden treasures, from a bone church in Italy to glowworm caves in New Zealand.

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Photoviz: Visualizing Information Through Photography | $31.68
Like the intriguing manipulated photography we often feature on My Modern Met? This new book, which explores the role digital imagery has in telling stories, features many of our favorite photographers. It's a must-have for those curious about infographics and storytelling in the digital age.

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Fantastic Structures Adult Coloring Book by Steve McDonald | $11.79
It may not be a coffee table book, but this adult coloring book is the perfect choice for architecture and travel lovers. McDonald's incredible line drawings highlight buildings around the world, letting you decide whether you'd prefer to take on a Romanian castle or an Indian palace. Read more on My Modern Met

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For Love: 25 Heartwarming Celebrations of Humanity by Alice Yoo & Eugene Kim | $13.56
We couldn't leave out our new book, by My Modern Met founders Alice Yoo and Eugene Kim. This carefully culled book celebrates the positive side of humanity through 25 heartwarming visual stories. Read more on My Modern Met

Do you have any other books you'd recommend?

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