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Announcements, Opinion & Commentary

You saw Maurizio Cattelan: All at the Guggenheim. You loved it. Did you know you can get the exhibition catalogue as an e-book? And there’s an app, too! The Guggenheim recently announced the e-book version of the Cattelan catalogue, as well as an effort to make out-of-print catalogues available online. Exciting news for e-book reading art lovers!

The Cattelan catalogue is available for iPad, Kindle, and Kobo at the moment, with releases for other platforms forthcoming. The accompanying app–in which you can hear Cattelan’s reflections on his own work as read by John Waters–is available for iOS and Android devices. The out-of-print exhibition catalogues can be viewed in your browser.

But the Guggenheim isn’t the only museum venturing into the world of digital publishing. The Art Institute of Chicago has released beta versions of two catalogues–Monet: Paintings and Drawings and Renoir: Paintings and Drawings. Both titles are browser-based publications available for Chrome and Safari. As newly-designed-for-the-screen digital objects rather than merely digitized versions of print volumes, the AIC catalogues have much more functionality than the Guggenheim’s digitized out-of-print titles. The AIC catalogues provide easy navigation between figures, footnotes, and other sections of the text. Clicking on a hyperlinked term provides a definition or more information, and highlighting any portion of text brings up a “cite” button which provides correctly formatted citations in Chicago or MLA Style.

Sample page layout from Renoir: Paintings and Drawings
Sample page layout from Renoir: Paintings and Drawings

The AIC catalogues are part of the Online Scholarly Catalogue Initiative funded by the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Getty Foundation. Looking at the list of grants awarded for the OSCI, it’s clear that many more exciting developments in museum publishing are on the horizon.

In addition to the OSCI efforts for museums, the Art History Publication Initiative is pushing forward new developments in the world of the art historical monograph. The AHPI will fund the publication of forty books over a period of five years, all from first-time authors. In addition to the books, the AHPI also promises “a shared website hosting additional electronic enhancements to the book[s], including but not limited to audio, video, illustrative material, animation, and podcasts.”

Have you heard about other exciting developments in the world of art books and publishing? Let us know in the comments.





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