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A rich resource of art history books for free

A rich resource of art history books for free
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART

If you have ever gone to an art museum, you know what to expect at the very end of an exhibition: the museum store. There, you'll find expensive but beautiful coffee-table books that provide in-depth analysis of the artworks you just saw.

These books often have an encyclopedia's worth of information about art, artists, and the history and culture that influenced their drawings, paintings and sculptures. In these books, there are richly detailed photographs of the artwork on exhibit. You can re-live the exhibition, share your experience with your family and friends, or read through it to give yourself an invaluable art history education.

When it comes to art museums, there are few that rival New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art for its vast collection of important works, and for its collection of art books. Since 1870, the Met has been publishing exhibition catalogs and guides to collections.

Now, many of these books, online titles, and journals from the past five decades are available online for free. In fact, MetPublications has 1,500 titles online that you can use now to study art history, dive deep into academic analysis, or just lose yourself in beautiful works of art.

Next page: Explore the Met's collection
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