Decorative and Democratising: How the Coffee-table Book was Popularised in the Post-war Era
thesisposted on 02.04.2019 by CHRISTINE MARY ELLIOTT
In order to distinguish essays and pre-prints from academic theses, we have a separate category. These are often much longer text based documents than a paper.
Coffee-table books emerged in the post-war era. Part of their popularity was their role as an aesthetically pleasing object in a changing social landscape. The emergence of coffee-table books was fuelled by advances in full-colour offset printing technology, social change and the entrepreneurial efforts of key individuals in America, Britain and Australia. As an accessible visual medium, they played a central role in creating a new book-buying market and the democratisation of book ownership. Coffee-table books became an important tool for photographers and publishers, many of whom used the large-format pages to exhibit images of landscapes, national identities and art.