An attractive new year offering from the J. Paul Getty Trust is some 250 PDF art book titles for free download from the archives of the Getty Conservation Institute, the Getty Research Institute, and the J. Paul Getty Museum. The Getty Publications Virtual Library offers “free digital backlist titles from the Getty Publications Archives,”
“Last year we made freely available thousands of images of works in our collections that were in the public domain or to which we held all the rights,” said Getty President and CEO James Cuno. “As a next step in our increasing digital engagement, we are now making hundreds of publications—many of which are out of print—freely available to scholars and the interested public around the world.”
As this statement indicates, many of the publications will be of interest only to scholars. There are a large number of titles dedicated to single paintings, for instance, or to very obscure archeological or art historical niches. Still, never look a gift horse in the mouth, especially one from a great stable. Art lovers with the patience to sift through the titles are bound to find something to justify their time and trouble.