Metropolitan Museum of Art Publications from the collections of the Metropolitan Museum Libraries and Metropolitan Museum Archives. All known publications from 1869-1939, along with a small selection of later titles, are part of this collection. Additionally, thanks to the Museum's Digital Media and Editorial Departments, all full-text titles from the MetPublications project--over 400 publications from 1964 to the present--also are included here.
Use the following links to browse selected subsets of the Metropolitan Museum Publications collection:
For additional content, visit also the MetPublications section of the metmuseum.org website, which includes nearly 650 titles published from 1964 to the present. MetPublications includes a description and table of contents for almost every title, as well as information about the authors, reviews, awards, and links to related Met bibliographies by author, theme, or keyword.
Read more about the Metropolitan Museum of Art Publications collection in these Highlights posts.
Above: a carousel of fifteen randomly selected titles from the Metropolitan Museum Publications 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.
The American Industrial Arts Exhibitions, 1917-1940 subcollection is a set of pamphlets accompanying a landmark series of American industrial arts exhibitions held at The Metropolitan Museum of Art during this period. Organized by Richard F. Bach (1887–1968), the exhibitions featured the work of contemporary American industrial designers and manufacturers. Bach’s role at the museum as head of the Department of Industrial Relations was promoting good taste and forging ties between art and industry for the economic benefit of the United States. Through his actions, The Metropolitan Museum of Art led the way in encouraging good design and by extension, promoting modern, American decorative art in the early twentieth century. In addition to the pamphlets, there are related circulars sent to potential exhibitors, as well as other publications by Bach and his contemporaries.
The Annual Reports, 1872 to 1901 (unabridged versions) collection has material from the museum’s second year in operation (when it was still located at its first home on 681 Fifth Avenue) to the early nineteenth century. The reports document museum progress and activities including visitor attendance records, building expansion updates, recent acquisitions, loans, exhibitions and installations. They also include financial statements, officers of the museum, annual member lists,an update on museum publications and educational classes, as well as lectures being offered each year.
The Charters, constitutions and bylaws collection contains thirty documents spread over one hundred years, from 1869 (a one-page draft of the Museum’s initial Constitution, annotated “This is the draft submitted to Prov[isional] Com[mittee], Jan. 4, 1870”) to 1969 (27 pages gathering the original State Charter with Constitution and Bylaws reflecting major revisions in 1967). It is not a complete set of revisions, and yet it offers insights into the Museum’s organizational development.
Most are printed documents, but two unique items are a bound copy of the April 13, 1870 Act of Incorporation that officially created the Museum, with appended signatures of the Museum’s Incorporators (including artists like Frederic Church and John F. Kensett and future architects of the Museum Calvert Vaux and Richard Morris Hunt, along with collectors like Henry Marquand and Samuel P. Avery), and a handwritten copy of that Act bearing an authenticating seal from the New York Secretary of State and associated with four handwritten letters tracing the bill’s progress through the State Senate and Assembly.
This Collection Catalogs, 1870-1963 collection includes the catalogs of the permanent collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art from its very beginnings in 1870 through 1949, with a selection of later titles. The collection is being added to and will ultimately include collection catalogs through 1964. Some of the early catalogs include the Vanderbilt collection of drawings (1881), the Catharine Lorillard Wolfe collection of pictures by modern masters (1889), the Morgan collection of Chinese porcelains (1907), and the Cloisters collection of medieval tapestries (1949) which includes a description of the new room at the Cloisters for the display of the famous Unicorn Tapestries.
The Educational Programs and Listings collection contains Metropolitan Museum of Art publications published from 1880 to the present that are focused on educating the public. It includes lectures, family guides and maps, posters, “kids’ picks,” art and museum hunts, Spanish and Chinese language material, and other engaging educational publications. Most of these items are colorfully illustrated.
The Exhibition Catalogs, 1870-1963 collection includes the catalogs of exhibitions that were held at The Metropolitan Museum of Art from its very beginnings in 1870 through 1949, with a selection of later titles. The collection is being added to and will ultimately include exhibition catalogs through 1963. Some of the early catalogs are of exhibitions that were held in the Museum’s first building located at 128 West 14th Street, such as the Catalogue of the loan exhibition of paintings and statuary (1874). Other titles in this collection include the Collection of Dutch and Flemish paintings by old masters (1886); the Loan exhibition of the arts of the Italian Renaissance (1923), which includes reproductions of the objects on view, such as Sandro Botticelli’s Portrait of Giuliano de' Medici and Luca della Robbia’s The Madonna of the Niche, and whose list of lenders includes William Randolph Hearst, J. Pierpont Morgan, and George and Florence Blumenthal; and the illustrated Japanese costume: an exhibition of nō robes and Buddhist vestments (1935). An 1885 exhibition catalog with possibly one of the longest titles - Catalogue of paintings, by G.F. Watts, R.A., of London, on exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: with some account of the methods and aims of the artist, and a description of the intentions in the pictures – can also be found in this collection.
The Management and Policy Documents collection consists of publications related to the administration, finances, and operations of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, published between 1870 and 1966. Includes minutes from meetings of the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee, and subscription lists of individual donors who contributed to the fund for the construction of the Museum.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art Children's Bulletin was a quarterly publication issued by the Museum from 1916 through 1935. The first two volumes, or 13 installments, of The Children’s Bulletin were published as supplements to the Museum’s quarterly Bulletin; the subsequent 40 installments of The Children’s Bulletin were published as a separate quarterly. Each Children’s Bulletin features a short story that engages young children with the themes and history of works of art selected from The Museum’s collection.
Read more about The Children's Bulletin collection in this Highlights post.