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Free art books online from the Metropolitan and Guggenheim Museums
October 27, 2013 6:20 PM   Subscribe

The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim offer 474 free art books online. 99 art catalogs from the Guggenheim. 375 MetPublications. An example: Masterpieces of Painting in the Metropolitan Museum of Art

A few of the exceptional gems to explore from the Met:

Images of the first big museum blockbuster show (worth checking out): "Tutankhamun": The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, v. 34, no. 3 (Winter, 1976–1977)

Origins of Impressionism

The Art of Illumination

Interwoven Globe: The Worldwide Textile Trade, 1500-1800

Louis Comfort Tiffany at the Metropolitan Museum

Designing Nature: The Rinpa Aesthetic in Japanese Art

Impressionism: A Centenary Exhibition, the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Genesis: Ideas of Origin in African Sculpture

The Art of Africa: A Resource for Educators, Volume 1

Perfect Documents: Walker Evans and African Art, 1935

Greek Vase Painting


From the Guggenheim (double click on images to zoom in):

Joseph Cornell

Twentieth Century American Drawing

Abstract Expressionist Imagists

Vasily Kandinsky

Paul Klee 1879-1940
posted by nickyskye (11 comments total) 124 users marked this as a favorite

I love that you can download many of the ones that are out of print as .pdfs. There are several great reference books that will be great to have available digitally when I go to auctions; others will just be great to have for eye candy.
posted by julen at 6:40 PM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]

posted by Sticherbeast at 6:43 PM on October 27, 2013

Wowwwww. My favorites so far: American Paradise: The World of the Hudson River School; Candace Wheeler: The Art and Enterprise of American Design, 1875–1900; Caspar David Friedrich: Moonwatchers; Flowers Underfoot: Indian Carpets of the Mughal Era; Heroic Armor of the Italian Renaissance: Filippo Negroli and his Contemporaries (the helmets/pauldrons with faces and creatures on them are hilarious); Landscapes Clear and Radiant: The Art of Wang Hui (1632–1717); Peach Blossom Spring: Gardens and Flowers in Chinese Painting; and Vermeer and the Delft School. But I reckon you could just list everything--it's like 474 good MeFi posts in one. Thank you!
posted by Monsieur Caution at 7:05 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

There are a couple of previous threads about the Met books, with good recommendations.
posted by oulipian at 7:34 PM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]

Someone should collect and torrent. It's amazing that a publisher would (and could) release a whole back catalog of OOP works. Makes sense, free advertising for the Met and their holdings, more attention = more value.
posted by stbalbach at 7:35 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

awwwwww nice. diminish tele-vision.
posted by wallstreet1929 at 7:40 PM on October 27, 2013

Amazing. Absolutely amazing.
posted by Apropos of Something at 9:51 PM on October 27, 2013

THIS will be getting bookmarked as well as passed on.

Many thanks for hours of winter browsing.
posted by BlueHorse at 10:12 PM on October 27, 2013

Fantastic post. I'm so glad we live in the future where we can get out-of-print catalogs and books in digital form for free (legally).
posted by immlass at 11:08 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

Digging in now, yum yum yum.
posted by louche mustachio at 3:21 AM on October 28, 2013

These seem particularly good for their essays. I still flinch when I see an art book that shows B&W reproductions of colour works...

As someone who collects art books, I'm waiting for the perfect tech solution for replacing them. This isn't that, but these are still fabulous to have online.
posted by Theta States at 6:42 AM on October 28, 2013

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