A gift of a luxury book is something everyone wants this holiday season…even those choosy, creative folks who want something beyond the usual. Look no further, according to our resident bibliophile Lance Avery Morgan, who recommends his Top 10 favorites from luxe publisher Thames & Hudson USA.
CECIL BEATON: THE ROYAL PORTRAITS
By Cecil Beaton, Claudia Acott Williams and Hugo Vickers.
Organized chronologically, from the 1930s to the 1970s, this book looks back in time to tell a very modern tale: the creation of a public image. Offering a fresh appraisal of Beaton’s portraits of the British royal family, the book explores not only the finished images but also the sittings in which they were created, revealing Beaton’s central role in shaping the public face of the House of Windsor and the ways in which he collaborated with his subjects. $50. At Thames&Hudson USA.
THE DRAWINGS OF VINCENT VAN GOGH
By Christopher Lloyd
During his brief, dramatic life, van Gogh produced more than a thousand graphic works—many of them touching on anxieties that still speak to us today. In this compelling new book that features works from the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, and many other important collections in Europe and the United States, the author uses examples from Van Gogh’s family correspondence, sketchbooks, as well as comparative artworks by other artists to give readers a greater understanding of why drawing is so important within Van Gogh’s unique body of work. $50. At Thames&Hudson USA.
KARL LAGERFELD: A LIFE IN HOUSES
By Patrick Mauriès and Marie Kalt
Yes, of course the late Karl Lagerfeld was famous for being at the center of the fashion industry for more than half a century—renowned for his lengthy tenures at Chanel, Chloé, and Fendi. He was also equally opinionated when it came to interiors. Featuring rarely seen images, this luxurious, large-format book showcases Lagerfeld’s houses and apartments that each had a decorative spirit of its own. $100. At Thames&Hudson USA.
ENCOUNTERS WITH ARTISTS
By Richard Cork with Cornelia Parker
Here are stories of the author’s encounters with some of the world’s most influential modern and contemporary artists. Through a series of frank interviews, some scheduled, others serendipitous…he uncovers their inner thoughts and creative ambitions to reveal the personalities behind the art. The highly influential figures look back over a lifetime of work, including Louise Bourgeois, Roy Lichtenstein, and Jasper Johns, to younger artists encountered early in their careers, such as Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst. $34.95. At Thames&Hudson USA.
ADORNMENT AND SPLENDOUR: JEWELS OF THE INDIAN COURTS
By Salam Kaoukji
In the Indian subcontinent, naturally rich in gems, master jewelers developed a wide array of unique techniques and made it home to the most sophisticated jewels on earth…which is reflected in this book. Exotic birds and animals, flowers, trees, and mythological scenes rendered in precious gemstones, gold, and enamel demonstrate these artists’ prodigious imagination and skill. They produced not only an unmatched range of jewelry to adorn the body but also ritual and household items of astonishing refinement. $85. At Thames&Hudson USA.
DEBORAH TURBEVILLE: PHOTOCOLLAGE
By Nathalie Herschdorfer
American photographer Deborah Turbeville was a pioneering figure: a woman working in a male-dominated era. Her unique visual signature has been recognizable since her emergence as a major talent in the 1970s, standing apart from her male contemporaries, whose hard-edged photographs of women now seem to be of their time in comparison with Turbeville’s timeless, very different representation of beauty. $75. At Thames&Hudson USA.
LOOKING AT PICASSO
By Pepe Karmel
Providing a capstone to the 2023 “Year of Picasso,” during which dozens of museums around the world have celebrated the artist, marking the fiftieth anniversary of his death, this book presents his extraordinary achievements in painting, sculpture, drawing, and prints. Drawing on a wealth of important new scholarship, the art historian author approaches Picasso’s work through the lens of art, rather than biography, showing how he invented new visual languages and transformed the traditional themes of Western art. $60. At Thames&Hudson USA.
SPORTS BANGER: LIFESTYLES OF THE POOR, RICH & FAMOUS
By Jonny Banger
This visual book celebrates the ten-year anniversary of the anarchic, genre-bending cult fashion house, Sports Banger, run by Jonny Banger, charting its rise from an underground bootlegging operation to an all-inclusive, internationally recognized fashion house, record label, and socially conscious satirist. Through the subversion and (mis)appropriation of branding, the boundary-breaking collective interrogates British pop culture, fashion, class, and politics. $60. At Thames&Hudson USA.
ART UNPACKED: 50 WORKS OF ART: UNCOVERED, EXPLORED, EXPLAINED
By Matthew Wilson
In this valuable guide author and art historian Matthew Wilson examines fifty key artworks from around the world. He shares with readers fundamentals of art history, addressing function, historical context, iconography, and artists’ experience as well as issues of identity including feminism, gender, and postcolonialism. Whether it’s the mask of Tutankhamun, Dorothea Lange’s photograph Migrant Mother, Hokusai’s Great Wave, or Kara Walker’s Gone, the author dissects each artwork in a no-nonsense style, with explanatory notes detailing the artist’s sources of inspiration. $39.95. At Thames&Hudson USA.
By William Smalley
This beautifully illustrated volume places London architect William Smalley’s work alongside spaces that have inspired him. Places of private contemplation—calm spaces to read a book or listen to music in, to walk through, or simply be in—they are spaces that achieve a rare sense of repose and peace. With specially commissioned photography by Harry Crowder and a foreword by acclaimed potter and writer Edmund de Waal, this book celebrates the quietude of spaces that are hallmarks of Smalley’s work. $65. At Thames&Hudson USA.
COMING IN JANUARY…
By Paul Barbera
Giving readers inspiration both for décor and for sharing spaces with beloved feline companions, this book showcases incredible spaces and captures their owners’ charismatic cats as they wander, lounge, or explore in their beautiful surroundings…ranging from a ninety-one-story-high penthouse above Billionaires’ Row in New York City, a tranquil Miami Beach apartment, and a Hamptons house replete with views of nature to a Mexican hacienda-inspired home in Los Angeles—and the mischievous cats who live there. $34.95. At Thames&Hudson USA.