Set at The Met: Some of Our Favorite Museum-Inspired Books

Our expert book buyer, Rosemary Marotta, shares her top Met-themed book picks.

Books for Kids

Mayhem at the Museum: A Book in Pictures by Luciano Lozano is a sweet wordless picture book of a little girl’s visit to The Met and the adventures she gets into. A great companion to another Met book Lost in the Museum. A must-have for our youngest readers.

The Boy and the Boy King by George H. Lewis is a beautiful picture book that is great for all ages. For the child, it is a wonderful adventure story that takes a little boy through the Temple of Dendur into the past and follows his adventures with the boy known as King Tut. For the child within all of us, it reminds us of our potential for creativity and imagination in our lives.

Mona Lisa in New York by Yevgenia Nayberg is an inventive book telling the story of when the famed portrait of Mona Lisa visited The Met and her adventures in New York before going back to the Louvre. The artwork is spectacular and truly inspiring.

Many Points of Me by Caroline Gertler and J.R. Silver Writes Her World by Melissa Dassori are two new books that bring back memories of From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg. These two wonderful novels for young readers are about friendship, growing up, and family with a backdrop of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. It’s almost as if The Met were its own character. Both are fun reads.

Books for Grown-ups

Stealing the Show by John Barelli and Pilgrimage to the Museum by Stephen F. Auth give an insider’s look at The Met. One is from a security standpoint taking the reader on a journey of how The Met’s art is protected. The other is a former docent’s tour of The Met collection seen through the eyes of spirituality and faith. These two different approaches give the reader a more comprehensive view of one of the greatest museums.

Monuments Man by James Rorimer is a reissue of a book written by a former director of The Met and his work as part of the Monuments Men who saved art during World War II. A fascinating tale.

Metropolitan Stories by Christine Coulson is a great read written by a former employee of The Met who weaves little vignettes and stories of the Museum that visitors rarely see.

Art = Discovering Infinite Connections in Art History and Metropolitan Museum of Art: Masterpiece Paintings are perfect books for any art lover. Art = uses The Met collection to tell the history of art through the ages, while Masterpiece Paintings takes a closer look at 500 of the Museum’s most iconic paintings. It’s like having The Met in your own home. They make great gifts even if that gift is for yourself.

Find these books and other great titles on our website. Happy reading!