Monash University
L210 ElliottChristineFinalPhDThesisAugust2018D.pdf (84.19 MB)

Decorative and Democratising: How the Coffee-table Book was Popularised in the Post-war Era

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posted on 2019-04-02, 23:37 authored by CHRISTINE MARY ELLIOTT
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.


Principal supervisor

Mark Gibson

Additional supervisor 1

Louise Poland

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

Film, Media and Communications


Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Type


Campus location



Faculty of Arts