This collection contains rare, valuable, and important works held in the Thomas J. Watson Library and other curatorial department libraries at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Read more about the Rare Books in the Thomas J. Watson Library collection in these Highlights posts.
Above: a carousel of fifteen randomly selected titles from the Rare Books in the Thomas J. Watson collection. A different set of titles will be displayed every time you visit or refresh this page.
At right: the six items most recently added to the collection. Please return frequently for new additions.
Included in this collection is the 19th century British serial The Chromolithograph, a journal of “art, literature, decoration and the accomplishments.” It lives up to this broad self-description by providing a variety of exhibition reviews, artists' biographies, articles on artistic themes, technical essays, and "illustrated lessons." Also included are a number of plates with chromolithographic prints which illustrate various techniques and themes discussed throughout the journal. These 12 issues provide an in-depth look into what was then a novel printing technique, as well as a glimpse into the artistic, literary, and commercial milieu of 1860’s Victorian England.
The Kraushaar Gallery Exhibition Catalogs is a collection of 70 exhibition catalogs published between 1920 and 1936, when the Kraushaar Gallery was located at 680 Fifth Avenue in New York City. During this time, the gallery was being run by John F. Kraushaar (brother of gallery founder Charles W.) and his daughter Antoinette, and it primarily exhibited modern French and American painters. It became particularly interested in the American realist group “The Eight,” half of whom have catalogs in this collection (William Glackens, George Luks, Maurice Brazil Prendergast and John Sloan). Some of the other artists represented in this collection are: Gifford and Reynolds Beal, Gustave Courbet, Honoré Daumier, Henri Fantin-Latour, Alphonse Legros, Walter Pach, Guy Pène du Bois, Marjorie Phillips, Margarett Sargent, Augustus Vincent Tack, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and Abraham Walkowitz.
The sixteen titles selected for Rare Books in The Robert Goldwater Library reflect the peculiar subject matter and wide geographical breadth of the library’s collection and the curatorial department which the library serves, the Department of the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas. Included are treatises on architectural monuments, manuscripts, decoration, traditional society and material culture. These nineteenth- and early twentieth-century works illustrate the transition in the Western perceptions of ‘primitive’ art and archaeology from the anthropological to the ethnological. Yet while the scholarly approach might seem dated by today’s standards, these titles provide valuable evidence about sites and cultures long since altered over time.