Hat tip to The Spectator for the article about a digitized collection of exhibition catalogs from the Guggenheim Museum. The collection is available at http://www.guggenheim.org/new-york/exhibitions/publications/from-the-archives.
There are over 60 catalogs here, and when you sort by date you’ll start with “Amazons of the Avant-Garde” (1999) and end up at “Art of Tomorrow: Fourty-One Reproductions from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation for Non-Objective Painting” (1940). The listings contain a thumbnail of the catalogue cover, author, date of publication, and number of pages.
I clicked on the “More” listing for “Mastercraftsmen of Ancient Peru,” by Alan R. Sawyer (1968, 112 pages). I got a larger image of the cover and a brief excerpt of the book, with a “Read Catalogue Online” link. THAT took me to a Flash-based reading application. Navigation of the book at the bottom, double-click to zoom in (to read the text you will have to zoom in.) Double-click again to zoom out. When I was looking at it, it looked like the reader was on “auto-play” — so you’d be looking at some page and it would flip. You can turn that off by clicking the “pause” button on the nav bar. If you don’t want to bother with the nav bar you can also flip through the pages by clicking on page corners.
The bottom of the listing has books related to the catalogue you’re viewing as well as related essays. I’m not sure where “Aestheticism and Japan: The Cult of the Orient” intersects with ancient Peruvian crafts, but I can find out if I pay $1.99 for this 13-page ebook.
An absolute timesink. If you don’t want to do the reading on the Guggenheim site, you can download a large selection of texts — more, it seems to me, than there are at the Guggenheim site — at the Internet Archive. This includes downloading in Kindle, Daisy, and PDF format.