Andy Warhol: A Retrospective edited by Kynaston McShine
Andy Warhol: A Retrospective
edited by Kynaston McShine
A catalog from MOMA’s 1989 Warhol retrospective.

The world’s greatest galleries and art museums support their major exhibitions by publishing beautifully illustrated catalogs that serve two purposes – they are a lingering reminder for visitors and an object of beauty for anyone’s bookshelf.

This selection of exhibition catalogs showcases publications from many of the top locations to see fine art, including New York’s Museum of Modern Art and Metropolitan Museum of Art, London’s Tate Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, and Victoria & Albert Museum, Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Aside from memorable images, exhibition catalogs offer essays, retrospectives and fascinating insights from experts.

Various artists and movements, photographers, archeological and historical treasures, and even two fashion icons are covered within this list of sumptuously illustrated catalogs. Prices stretch from the ridiculously cheap into three figures for flawless first editions.

While it’s not always possible to attend an exhibition in New York, London or Los Angeles, it’s easy to add the catalog to your collection.

 

Exhibition Catalogs

Arts of the South Seas by Ralph Linton & Paul S. Wingert
Arts of the South Seas
by Ralph Linton & Paul S. Wingert

A catalog with 200 plates from MOMA’s 1946 retrospective on South Seas art.
Pablo Picasso: A Retrospective
Pablo Picasso: A Retrospective

A hefty, well-illustrated catalog from MOMA’s 1980 event, seven years after Picasso’s death.
Modern Art & Popular Culture: Readings in High & Low edited by Kirk Varnedoe & Adam Gopnik
Modern Art & Popular Culture: Readings in High & Low
edited by Kirk Varnedoe & Adam Gopnik

1990 catalog from a major exhibition covering art in advertising, comics, graffiti and so on.
Turner 1775-1851
Turner 1775-1851

London’s Tate Gallery 1974 catalog of work by landscape watercolor artist William Turner.
George Stubbs 1724-1806
George Stubbs 1724-1806

Catalog from the 1984 exhibition at the Tate Gallery of this famous horse painter’s work.
Joan Miro
Joan Miro

Produced by Arts Council of Great Britain for the 1964 exhibition in London and Zurich.
Paul Klee: The Berggruen Collection edited by Sabine Rewald
Paul Klee: The Berggruen Collection
edited by Sabine Rewald

The Tate’s 1989 catalog of a collection also seen in New York and Paris.
Cezanne
Cezanne

242 color plates, 262 black & white plates. Tate’s catalog from 1996 of this major exhibition.
The Art of Paul Gauguin
The Art of Paul Gauguin

Published by Washington’s National Gallery of Art in 1988 with 280 illustrations.
Edouard Manet 1832-1883 edited by Anne Coffin Hanson
Edouard Manet 1832-1883
edited by Anne Coffin Hanson

Published by Philadelphia Museum of Art & Chicago’s Art Institute in 1966.
Mario Testino: Portraits
Mario Testino: Portraits

London’s National Portrait Gallery, catalog for a photography exhibition that toured the world.
Edward Hopper edited by Carol Troyen
Edward Hopper
edited by Carol Troyen

Many illustrations & essays. Published by Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts in 2007.
Edvard Munch: Lithographs, Etchings, Woodcuts edited by William S Lieberman
Edvard Munch: Lithographs, Etchings, Woodcuts
edited by William S Lieberman

Catalog from the LA County Museum of Art’s 1969 exhibition. 72 color & duotone reproductions.
David Hockney: A Retrospective
David Hockney: A Retrospective


343 illustrations. Published by LA County Museum of Art in 1988 with 24 pages of original prints.
Masters of 17th Century Dutch Genre Painting
Masters of 17th Century Dutch Genre Painting

Published by Philadelphia’s Museum of Art in 1984 with 27 color plates.
Exposure: Canadian Contemporary Photographers
Exposure: Canadian Contemporary Photographers

Catalog to support Art Gallery of Ontario’s 1977 exhibition. More than 200 photographs.
Gianni Versace edited by Richard Martin
Gianni Versace
edited by Richard Martin

NY’s Metropolitan Museum of Art catalog for its 1997-1998 exhibition on the fashion designer.
Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty
Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty

NY’s Metropolitan Museum of Art catalog for its massively successful 2011 exhibition. 293 color plates.
Treasures of Tutankhamun edited by Katherine Stoddert Gilbert
Treasures of Tutankhamun
edited by Katherine Stoddert Gilbert

33 color plates. Catalog from this 1976 exhibition of Egyptian artifacts from King Tut’s tomb.
Stuart Davis Memorial Exhibition 1894-1964
Stuart Davis Memorial Exhibition 1894-1964

Early American modern art. Published by National Collection of Fine Arts & Smithsonian in 1965.
Korean Art and Design edited by Beth McKillop
Korean Art and Design
edited by Beth McKillop

Catalog of Victoria & Albert Museum’s collection of Korean art starting in the 5th century.
Aubrey Beardsley edited by Brian Reade
Aubrey Beardsley
edited by Brian Reade

Catalog to promote Victoria & Albert Museum’s 1966 exhibition for this short-lived artist.
Rene Magritte edited by James Thrall Soby
Rene Magritte
edited by James Thrall Soby

Catalog published by NY’s Museum of Modern Art for its 1965 exhibition of Belgian surrealism.
Ross Bleckner edited by Lisa Dennison
Ross Bleckner
edited by Lisa Dennison

Published by NY’s Guggenheim Museum in 1995 for its exhibition on this American artist.
Frank Gehry, Architect edited by Fiona J. Ragheb
Frank Gehry, Architect
edited by Fiona J. Ragheb

Catalog for exhibitions held at the Guggenheim museums in NY and Bilbao in 2001.

 

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