The Museum of Modern Art is selling rare books from its archive.
Interior view of the Museum of Modern Art, Flagship Museum Store. Photo by Iwan Baan, courtesy of MoMA.
The Museum of Modern Art’s Design Store is selling monographs, catalogs, and other printed matter from the museum’s Rare Books archive. Just under 120 books are currently available for purchase through MoMA’s web store, ranging in price from $25 to $2,500 and including rarities like the influential monograph William Eggleston’s Guide(1976) alongside lighter fare like the children’s guidebook How to Show Grown-Ups the Museum(1985).
MoMA’s decision to open its publishing archives to buyers comes amidst the growing economic pressures of the COVID-19 epidemic and prolonged quarantine measures. Earlier this month, MoMA ended all contracts with its freelance educators to save money, and made a trove of art classes available for free online. Other institutions, including the New Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Los Angeles, Cleveland Museum of Art, and Guggenheim Museum, have implemented extensive staff cuts. Many museums have taken to increasingly inventive strategies to maintain audience engagement, including new virtual art programming, remote festivals, and community-oriented activism.