The Guggenheim Puts 109 Free Modern Art Books Online


Back in Jan­u­ary, 2012, we men­tioned that the Guggen­heim (the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed mod­ern art muse­um in NYC) had put 65 art cat­a­logues on the web, all free of charge.

We’re hap­py to report that, between then and now, the num­ber of free texts has grown to 109. Pub­lished between 1937 and 1999, the art books/catalogues offer an intel­lec­tu­al and visu­al intro­duc­tion to the work of Alexan­der Calder, Edvard Munch, Fran­cis BaconGus­tav Klimt & Egon Schiele, Fer­nand Léger, and Kandin­sky. Plus there are oth­er texts (e.g., Mas­ter­pieces of Mod­ern Art and Abstract Expres­sion­ists Imag­ists) that tack­le meta move­ments and themes.

Any­one inter­est­ed in the his­to­ry of the Guggen­heim will want to spend time with a col­lec­tion called “The Syl­labus.” It con­tains five books by Hilla Rebay, the muse­um’s first direc­tor and cura­tor. Togeth­er, they let you take a close look at the art orig­i­nal­ly housed in the Guggen­heim when the muse­um first opened its doors in 1939.

To read any of these 109 free art books, you will just need to fol­low these sim­ple instruc­tions. 1.) Select a text from the col­lec­tion. 2.) Click the “Read Cat­a­logue Online” but­ton. 3.) Start read­ing the book in the pop-up brows­er, and use the con­trols at the very bot­tom of the pop-up brows­er to move through the book. 4.) If you have any prob­lems access­ing these texts, you can find alter­nate ver­sions on

You can find many more free art books from the Get­ty and the Met below.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Down­load Over 250 Free Art Books From the Get­ty Muse­um

Down­load 397 Free Art Cat­a­logs from The Met­ro­pol­i­tan Muse­um of Art

800 Free eBooks for iPad, Kin­dle & Oth­er Devices

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Comments (18)
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  • Helen says:

    The pic­ture that always stands out in my mind is by Edward Munch ” the Scream”. If epit­o­mis­es the feel­ings one has when cer­tain things in ones life becomes so unbear­able that all you need to do is look at that pic­ture and it tru­ly defines ones feel­ings of utter hopelessness.n

  • Kate J Chase says:

    Bra­vo! This is what the Inter­net was meant to be — among oth­er things: the uni­ver­sal body of greater knowl­edge and the dis­sem­i­na­tion of great ideas, bod­ies, works.

  • Marcia Feldon Borger says:

    Send news

  • Him says:

    Shar­ing the gift­ed beau­ty from the beau­ty

  • Annie Edney says:

    Out­stand­ing! And invalu­able to those inter­est­ed
    In art mak­ing, view­ing, col­lect­ing, cri­tiquing …
    art any­thing real­ly!

  • Jennifer Young says:

    Thanky­ou so much for this oppor­tu­ni­ty to explore great works from a num­ber of bril­liant artists & to learn their his­to­ry in the world of Art. What a trea­sure trove you are offer­ing all of us from around the world. These sort of ges­tures make me believe more in the good­ness of human­i­ty when we all get to share great works of art. I espe­cial­ly get excit­ed by the paint­ings of Egon Schiele & Gus­tav Klimt & you cer­tain­ly have done me jus­tice!

  • Cherry Metz says:

    Won­der­ful mem­o­ries of my vis­it to this sub­lime build­ing and the exhibitions.Thanks for the oppor­tu­ni­ty to use this site.Such a great trea­sure trove.

  • Hester de Vos says:

    This is fan­tas­tic, thank you for this great idea! :Hes­ter de Vos, Cape Town, South Africa.

  • Michele A May says:


  • Annalen Gall says:

    I am so happy.I feel you offered a trea­sure to enjoy and learn from.My wish to vis­it the Guggen­heim muse­um comes true now,and I have all the time to enjoy,leisurely at home.Thank you.




    Ghu­lam Abbas Khaskhe­li

  • Suzi says:

    It’s a pity so few are about women who are artists

  • al says:

    Pol­i­cy is good , unfor­tu­nate­ly the his­to­ry of mass accu­mu­la­tion of funds on the backs of work­ers once again is not stressed. The mine indus­try gets acco­lades but the work­ers pro­vid­ing the prof­its get no nod. Sor­ry my take is a down­er.

  • Ron Blackledge says:

    I came across an arti­cle in the Wash­ing­ton Post that ref­ered to the free library that per­tained to Cars. I would love to fine it again. There was a whole series about cats start­ing with : Chums

  • S.N.sethi says:

    I am look­ing for mod­ern art paint­ing book or list of books

  • Aaron says:

    I’m not see­ing where these books are free. Just looks like an online store.

  • Betsy says:

    Los­ing my big art books in Kat­ri­na was dev­as­tat­ing. This helps!

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