Download Over 250 Free Art Books From the Getty Museum


Yesterday, we wrote about the Wellcome Library’s opening up of its digital archives and making over 100,000 medical images freely available online. If you’ve already made your way through this choice selection (or if the prospect of viewing a 19th century leg amputation doesn’t quite pique your curiosity) have no fear. Getty Publications just announced the launch of its Virtual Library, where readers can freely browse and download over 250 art books from the publisher’s backlist catalogue.

The Virtual Library consists of texts associated with several Getty institutions. Readers can view extensively researched exhibition catalogues from the J. Paul Getty Museum, including Paul Cézanne’s late-life watercolours, when the painter raised the still life to a high art (Cézanne in the Studio: Still Life in Watercolors, 2004), as well as the woefully underappreciated Flemish illustrations of the 15th and 16th centuries (Illuminating the Renaissance: The Triumph of Flemish Manuscript, 2003).  The collection also contains detailed treatises on art conservation from the Getty Conservation Institute, and scholarly works from the Getty Research Institute, both of which include a multitude of books on specialized topics. Fancy reading about the relationship between Peter Paul Rubens and Jan Brueghel the Elder, the two legendary 17th century painters who lived in the Netherlands’ city of Antwerp? There’s a book on that. Intrigued by all the prostitutes in French impressionism? Try Painted Love: Prostitution in French Art of the Impressionist Era (2003). Perhaps you’re partial to ancient vases, and have already read The Colors of Clay (2006), Pots & Plays (2007), and Greek Vases (1983)? Don’t worry, the Getty’s virtual library has at least 8 more vase-oriented books.

All of the Getty’s virtual library volumes are available in PDF format, and can be added to your Google Books library. If you’re looking for more free art books, don’t miss our post from last year: The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim Offer 474 Free Art Books Online.

Ilia Blinderman is a Montreal-based culture and science writer. Follow him at @iliablinderman.

Related Content:

The British Library Puts 1,000,000 Images into the Public Domain, Making Them Free to Reuse & Remix

The Getty Puts 4600 Art Images Into the Public Domain (and There’s More to Come)

The National Gallery Makes 25,000 Images of Artwork Freely Available Online

Read 700 Free eBooks Made Available by the University of California Press

by | Permalink | Comments (26) |

  • William

    that’s nice online e- book of Software and Society .Technology and Economics Book is so understandable.

  • Katya Caso

    Love to see Art Books.


    Hola … !
    Soy artista ( pintor y escultor expresionista ) y profesor de Arte en la Universidad … así que me interesa todo lo relacionado con Arte Contemporaneo…
    mil gracias
    Roberto Mognier http://WWW.MOGNIER.MX

  • Michael

    I am going on a sailing trip. do you have a link to download simply all of it?



  • julie

    Thankyou x

  • Victor Arcega

    Thank you.

  • helen colella

    what a wonderful resource! thank you.

  • Todd

    Antwerp is in Belgium

  • pichet wanavit

    Thanks a lot 4 what u’ve done.

  • James

    Todd: “in 1830, … Belgium seceded from the Netherlands…” So it was “the Netherlands’ city of Antwerp in the “17th century.”

  • tieneke van montfort

    I am looking forward to see your books made digital.

  • Hugo Ortiz

    Looking forward to see your digital books

  • Sami Swan Thompson

    Thank you for making so much information freely accessible to so many people. I’m unable to drive anymore, and I live on a fixed income. Open Culture will provide a new resource for me – books for research as well as entertainment – and I appreciate the access more than I can express.

    Sami Swan Thompson

  • Dan Colman

    Thanks for your comments Sami. I am glad that we can be there for you!

    Best regards,

  • Bruce Bae

    Thanks for your valuable share!!

  • sylvia laidman

    how does one download a book to either a Kindle or a Google Nexus? Thank you…

  • Agnes S. Barsaga

    Great! Very informative… Thanks for contributing to the humanity.



  • Dr Neville Dawson

    What a wonderful thing you are doing. Thank you. Looking forward.

  • trine steen mortensen

    Thank you for sharing those wonderful artbooks with us

  • Eston

    This is excellent for persons who have difficulty getting access to hard copy reading material and education.

  • Nunes

    Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Rashidah Bolhassan

    Thank you soo much for sharing.

  • Tyree

    This is an amazing resource! Thank you for gathering and sharing!

  • Jo Ann Parsons

    Wonderfil sight!! Thank you for all the free downloads!

  • hadi

    aga mizan