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MoMa Design Store releases over 100 books from archives

Like all museums in New York City, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) has closed its door until further notice in response to the spread of the novel coronavirus in the US.

Although on lockdown, the cultural institution has now released dozens of rare books from the MoMA Publications archives.

William Eggleston's Guide
John Szarkowski, “William Eggleston’s Guide” (1976). Image: courtesy of MoMA Publications via AFP Relaxnews

This special selection features publications on art, photography, architecture and more, all of which are “in excellent condition” and available in extremely limited quantities on MoMA Design Store’s website.

Among them are a rare edition of “William Eggleston’s Guide,” which is widely considered one of the most important photography books of the 20th century.

The 112-page title was the very first publication of color photography published by MoMA, causing a heated debate about the then-controversial use of color in photography at the time of its release in 1976.

While “William Eggleston’s Guide” retails at $2,500, the selection of rare MoMA Publications includes more affordable titles that will delight bibliophiles on a budget.

“How to Show Grownups the Museum” (first published in 1985) will introduce children to must-see masterpieces such as Vincent Van Gogh’s “Starry Night,” while “How to Make Pottery and Ceramic Sculpture” (1960) will help beginning potters perfect their craft—with the titles available for $25 and $40 respectively.

Elsewhere, MoMa’s former curator John Elderfield discusses the oeuvre of Edvard Munch in “The Masterworks of Edvard Munch,” making it the perfect coffee-table book ahead of the reopening of Oslo’s Munchmuseet in the fall of 2020.


In addition to releasing rare publications from its archives, MoMA is currently offering online courses to give art aficionados a chance to learn more about contemporary art, fashion and photography from their homes.

The courses take a close look at collections and exhibitions of the MoMA, giving audiences the opportunity to “join a community of learners unlike any other.”

Among them are “What is Contemporary Art?”, where art lovers are given the chance to analyze 70 works made between 1980 and the present day; and “In the Studio: Post-War Abstract Painting,” which takes a look at the lives and oeuvres of seven artists from the New York School.

The online initiative takes between 16 and 27 hours to complete via coursera.org/momaCL /ra


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