Image: Watchers by Artist Tom Estes
Committed to innovation, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation collects, preserves, and interprets modern and contemporary art, and explores ideas across cultures through dynamic curatorial and educational initiatives and collaborations. With its constellation of architecturally and culturally distinct museums, exhibitions, publications, and digital platforms, the foundation engages both local and global audiences.
As a vital part of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation’s mission as an educational institution, the Guggenheim Museum’s Publications Department publishes books and catalogues to document its exhibitions and collections. If you’re planning a visit to the Guggenheim, you may also want to consider boning up on the collection, from sculpture and works on paper to Masterpieces from the Guggenheim Collection: From Picasso to Pollock. But wherever your interests lie, dig in and get ready for a crash course in modern art.
Modern art lovers all over the world can now rejoice. The Guggenheim Museum in New York has just made more than 200 books about modern art available online. A veritable art history degree’s worth of books digitized by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum are now available for free. Not only can you read them online, but you can download them in PDF or ePub formats—for free—at the Internet Archive.
For over half a decade the museum has been digitizing its exhibition catalogs and art books, placing the results online. So whether you want to study up on some art history with titles like Picasso and the War Years and Expressionism, a German intuition or read the first English translation of Kandinsky’s On the spiritual in art, you’ve come to the right place.
Over the last few years, the Guggenheim Museum has slowly released an impressive library of modern and historic art books in collaboration with the Internet Archive. The rare and out-of-print titles include books about Pablo Picasso, Roy Lichtenstein, Paul Klee, Jenny Holzer, Joseph Cornell, as well as several exhibition catalogs and books about the museum itself. You’ll also find publications on wide ranging topics from the Russian and Soviet avant-garde movement to collections of Chinese and Aztec art.
There’s the Italian metamorphosis and Russian Constructivism; thousands of years of Aztec and Chinese art; and catalogs of work by the many greats to pass through the Guggenheim’s Frank Lloyd Wright-designed halls. Formerly locked in paper prisons (a.k.a., hard-copy books), analysis of work by Pablo Picasso, Roy Lichtenstein, Dan Flavin, Robert Rauschenberg, Gustav Klimt, Mark Rothko, and more is now free to roam the web as PDFs and ePubs.
Many of the books first books appeared online in 2012 and the collection has grown to include over 200 titles that can be viewed online or downloaded in PDF or ePub formats. You can see the full collection here.
The initiative to publish certain entries from The Guggenheim’s vast library began with 65 catalogs published in 2012, and has now grown to 205 titles. This joins 43 titles available in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Online Reading Room, 281 from Getty Publications’ Virtual Library, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art MetPublications’s whopping 1,611 books you can download for free. That’s in addition to the 375,000+ high resolution images of the artworks themselves the Met dumped into the public domain earlier this year.