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The e-book market has been very quiet lately. Sure, there’s the Apple price-fixing case, concerns about piracy, and fair compensation to authors. It seems, though, that nothing”new” has been presented by e-book publishers since the introduction of the e-readers in what now seems like centuries ago. The publishers still are accused of charging high prices, and are still fighting libraries and re-sales.

It is refreshing to note that there are many sites where one can go to download high quality e-books legally and for free. one of those is from the Guggenheim Museum at  its Collection Page. Better still, many of the books can be read online in pdf so that a e-reader is not required.

Below are just a few examples of the books available with descriptive quotes from the Museum.


  “No other artist epitomizes the character of the Guggenheim Museum quite like Vasily Kandinsky, who is closely linked to the history of the museum and has been collected in depth in the permanent collection since its founding. Kandinsky is the first full-scale retrospective of the artist’s career to be exhibited in the United States since 1985, when the Guggenheim culminated its trio of groundbreaking exhibitions of the artist’s life and work in Munich, Russia, and Paris. This presentation of nearly 100 paintings brings together works from the three institutions that have the greatest concentration of Kandinsky’s work in the world, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; and Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich; as well as significant loans from private and public holdings.”


  “The sculpture and drawings Eva Hesse produced during the year before her death in 1970 at the age of 34 attain a level of feeling and formal authority rarely achieved by so young an artist. The body of major work she created during the culminating year of her illness suggests that her awareness of the deteriorating state of her health somehow not only allowed her to grow with the continuing natural evolution of her work, but also provided her with the power to invest her art with mysterious overtones of poignant and painful life.”

picasso bw

  “Featuring more than 150 reproductions, this beautifully illustrated publication includes essays by noted Picasso scholars, examining the artist’s fascination with black and white as a correlate of his obsessive interest in line and form, the influence of drawing, his use of monochrome and tonal values in relation to photography, and his complex language of pictorial and sculptural signs and exercises in light and chiaroscuro.”


  “The Thannhauser family donated a significant portion of their collection, which included several important Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works, to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in 1963. A first selection from the Thannhauser collection was presented in a dedicated wing of the museum in 1965. The accompanying publication, Masterpieces of Modern Art, includes a brief introduction by Harry F. Guggenheim.”


Courtesy of Dan Colman and Open Culture:

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 Archive.org, which lets you download books in multiple formats – ePUB, PDF and the rest.

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