Recently several major art museums have announced that they are making their digital collections available for download and non-commercial use. This opening up of collections gives students and anyone interested in fine art an opportunity to work with and use these images in their own projects. The following museums and galleries have collections that have recently announced that their images in their collections are available for download .
Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC
On May 16, 2014 the Metropolitan Museum of Art announced that 400,000 high resolution digital images of public domain works could be downloaded from the Museum’s website for non-commercial use. You do not need to seek permission for use of these images nor is there an associated fee. This initiative is called Open Access for Scholarly Content (OASC) and works covered by this initiative are identified by the acronym OASC. More information is available on the Met’s Frequently Asked Questions page.
National Gallery of Art, Washington
NGA Images is a repository of digital images from the collection of the National Gallery of Art in Washington. More than 37,000 open access digital images are available free of charge for download and use. Images are available at different resolutions for use on screen or in print publications. Search NGA Images on the National Gallery’s website.
The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam makes over 125,000 images from the collection available, free of charge. To use them you will need to create a free Rijkstudio account to get started.
The account lets you create your own galleries and download images for your own use. The museum encourages you to create your own masterpieces from the images that you download and has examples of objects, images and videos created from its art works.
The Getty makes freely available all digital images (about 90,000) to which it holds the rights or that are in the public domain. You can browse all Open Content images or use the search on the Getty Search Gateway and download images identified with a download link. Images used should be credited as follows: “Digital Image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program”
Finding More Images
These are just a few examples of places where you can find fine art images to use in your projects. Check the Finding Images to Share post for more resources for finding images.