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The Harlem Art Book Gift Guide

It's crunch time for gift-getting–which means if you still need to find someone a present, you should probably keep it simple. My suggestion? An art or photo book that's easy to buy and enjoy. Luckily, there are many great new (and a few perennial) books about fascinating, beautiful Harlem.


Alice neel: Uptown

Earlier this year, writer Hilton Als curated painter Alice Neel's show at the David Zwirner gallery. This book is an extension of that exhibit, offering insights into the artist and the diverse people she painted while living in Spanish Harlem and on the Upper West Side.

Once in Harlem

Originally from Japan, Katsu Naito lived in Harlem in the late '80s and early '90s, documenting his time in the neighborhood through portraits of its residents. The result is this insightful monograph.

Spanish Harlem: El Barrio in the '80s

Another trip back in time, this time by Brooklyn-raised photographer Joseph Rodriguez, who directed his lens at the lives of Latinos living in gritty East Harlem in the 1980s.

Sights in the City: New York Street Photographs

Missed photographer Jamel Shabazz's book signing at Harlem gift store Nilu last month? There's still time to pick up his book of New York City street photography, which includes images taken in Harlem.


Harlem: A century in Images

First published in 2010, this beautiful collection of photographs should be the first on your list of art books about Harlem's history. Produced with help from Harlem's Studio Museum, it features nearly 200 images from legends such as Gordon Parks, Richard Avedon and Weegee.

in the spirit of harlem

Looking for a stylish coffee table book that anyone will love? Assouline's hardcover includes vibrant photographs of the people and places that have made Harlem the iconic neighborhood it is today.

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