Fans of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, and e-book freebie hoarders everywhere, will be delighted to learn that the Museum has made literally hundreds of its backlist titles, exhibition catalogs, artist monographs and so on, available for download as high-quality PDFs – completely for free.
This terrific resource has been around for quite some time, but little advertised. Many of the books are old, and not all are going to be of interest to general readers (“Age of Spirituality: Late Antique and Early Christian Art, Third to Seventh Century,” anyone?), but the gems are real jewels.
A 405-page 1989 exhibition catalogue of Canaletto, for instance, or Graham Reynolds’s 1983 work on Constable’s England. The older periods are rather more represented than modern art, but pretty much everyone is likely to find something to their taste.
PDF isn’t my favorite e-book format by any stretch of the imagination (or the onscreen viewing area), but for this style of publication it works just fine.
Although not all the works are up to the same standard of color reproduction, they lose nothing in the digitization and you can have a great time seeing which PDF reader renders the pictures best. A superb giveaway from the Met, all in all, enough to keep enthusiasts occupied for days.