MoMA is on a quarantine-inspired momentum. First, the venerable New York Museum began offering free online art classes. Now it gives art lovers the opportunity to purchase truly special monographs direct from home. Indeed, the institution’s Design Store has opened its own publishing archives to offer some of its rarest titles online.
The books, some of which have been stored in the MoMA publications archive for decades, are now on sale through the museum’s online store, the museum announced on social media earlier this week. As you might expect, the tomes of art, photography and architecture on offer range from the historically significant to the fun and playful.
These include books that are otherwise nearly impossible to find, such as William Eggleston’s Guide. First published in 1976, the controversial monograph on Eggleston was the museum’s first color photography book and is widely regarded as one of the most important art texts of the 20th century. There is also Jan Groover, a book dedicated to the eponymous photographer with a text by curator Susan Kismaric. Other noteworthy titles include a third edition of The Sculptor’s Workshop: Engravings by Picasso (1966), a second edition of Post-Impressionism: from van Gogh to Gauguin and kid-friendly How to show the museum to adults (1985).
The books are all available in the Rare Books section of the Design Store website, with prices ranging from $ 25 to $ 2,500. At the time of printing, 120 books had been listed for sale in the section, with quantities of each extremely limited (two books mentioned in the museum’s original post are already out of print).
Like other closed museums around the world, MoMA has tried to be creative during the coronavirus outbreak. In addition to bringing parts of its widely respected contemporary art collection online, the museum has also partnered with Coursera to offer a number of free online courses on topics ranging from contemporary art to photography in going through fashion.