Own The Rarest Art Books Online As MoMA Tries To Make Your Quarantine More Productive

MoMA is on a quarantine-inspired roll. First, the venerable New York museum began offering free online art classes. Now, it’s giving art lovers the chance to buy some truly special monographs right from home. That’s because the institution’s Design Store has opened its own publishing archives to offer some of its rarest titles online.

The books, some of which been stored in the MoMA Publications archives for decades, are now up for sale through the museum’s web store, the museum announced on social media earlier this week. As you might expect, the art, photography and architecture tomes on offer range from the historically significant to the fun and playful.

These include books that are otherwise nearly impossible to find, like William Eggleston’s Guide. First published in 1976, the controversial monograph dedicated to Eggleston was the first full-colour book of photography published by the museum and is widely considered to be one of the most important art texts of the 20th century. There’s also Jan Groover, a book that focussed on the eponymous photographer with text from curator Susan Kismaric. Other noteworthy titles include a third printing of The Sculptor’s Studio: Etchings by Picasso (1966), a second edition of Post-Impressionism: From van Gogh to Gauguin and the kid-friendly How to Show Grownups the Museum (1985).

The books are all available in the Rare Book section of the Design Store’s website, with prices ranging from as low as US$25 (about RM110) all the way up to US$2,500 (about RM11,000). As of press time, 120 books had been posted for sale in the section, with quantities of each extremely limited (two books mentioned in the museum’s original post have already sold out).

Like other shuttered museums around world, MoMA has tried to be creative during the coronavirus outbreak. In addition to making parts of its widely respected collection of contemporary art available for viewing online, the museum has also teamed up with Coursera to offer a number of free online courses on subjects ranging from contemporary art to photography to fashion.

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