The Coffee Drinkers

Paul Outerbridge Jr. American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 852

With a background in staging and an unwavering belief in the power of images to inspire a better life, Paul Outerbridge Jr. was well suited to the directorial tasks of advertising photography. For A&P Grocery’s Eight O’Clock Coffee, he orchestrated this scene in the display kitchen of a department store, painstakingly diagramming the setup in advance.

"How’d you learn to make such swell coffee, Dick?" the copy teased, when the ad ran in LIFE magazine. Such work exceeds the sum of its parts, selling more than just a jolt of caffeine. The after-dinner air of repose courts camp, conjuring an intimate blend of leisure and power. With it, Outerbridge offers the consumer the chance to be a man among men, all for the price of a can of coffee.

The Coffee Drinkers, Paul Outerbridge Jr. (American, New York 1896–1959 Laguna Beach, California), Carbro print

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.