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Five Art and Design Books for Your Fall Reading List

Legendary album covers, free-spirited interior design, and a new generation of homes on Martha’s Vineyard.


Photo by Toan Trinh

A Spectator Is an Artist Too: How We Look at Art, How We Behave Around Art, by Johan Idema
Is the observation of artwork an art itself? That’s the question author Johan Idema wants readers to ponder in this provocative tome. Featuring images of intimate exchanges with works from the likes of painter Wayne Thiebaud and the multi-talented John Armleder, this visual study of human behavior also delves into the changing role of museums across the globe.

Out 4/20/21, $20, Bis Publishers.

Martha’s Vineyard: New Island Homes, by Keith Moskow and Robert Linn
The part-time residents of Martha’s Vineyard and the nuances of their contemporary retreats take center stage in this captivating work by renowned local architects Keith Moskow and Robert Linn. Expanded from a 2005 survey of residential design, this new text reveals how 25 of these recent constructions mix with the destination’s rich heritage of traditional Victorian residences.

Out 6/24/21, $50, Monacelli Press.

Living in Nature: Contemporary Houses in the Natural World, by Phaidon Editors

An Arizona desert dwelling. A Costa Rican treetop home. An Australian residence set oceanside. Chosen for their spectacular locations, these modern-day houses (and many more) make up the design-forward collection showcased in Living in Nature, specially curated to explore each property’s unique relationship with the environment it inhabits.

Out 4/28/21, $50, Phaidon.

Jungalow: Decorate Wild, by Justina Blakeney
Taking a walk on the wild side can be liberating—especially when it comes to design. This guide from Justina Blakeney brings bold energy to interiors through “jungalow,” the term she created to describe her signature style and retail brand. In her book by the same name, the designer offers personal stories, as well as advice on such topics as choosing colors and infusing elements of nature into décor.

Out 4/6/21, $40, Abrams Books.

Art Sleeves: Album Covers by Artists, 1980 to 2020, by DB Burkeman
An album cover is more than just a formality. In fact, during the past 40 years, it’s become as meaningful as the record inside it. Penned by pioneering British DJ DB Burkeman, this hardcover compiles some of the most iconic and influential examples into one place, from American artist Jeff Koons’s Artpop collaboration with Lady Gaga to English creator Stanley Donwood’s designs for Radiohead.

Out 4/27/21, $50, Rizzoli.