Now, the Walters has taken the unprecedented step of waiving copyright altogether and dedicating these images to the public domain (CC0). There are no longer any restrictions whatsoever on your use of these images. You don’t even have to say that they came from the Walters (although in general, crediting the source of an image is still considered a best practice whenever possible).
Note that this new policy does not apply to images of every artwork in the Walters’s collection. All of the images released into the public domain are of artworks that are themselves also in the public domain. If an artwork is copyrighted, the Walters does not have the authority to place images of it in the public domain. This means that most art made since about 1900 is still under copyright, so those images are not made available here. However, since the Walters focuses mainly on earlier periods, this restriction excludes a relatively small number of the works in its collection.
Shared Shelf Commons is the free, open-access facet of Artstor, available to anyone worldwide, even without a subscription to Artstor. Shared Shelf subscribers like Cornell and UD have been publishing some of their collections to Shared Shelf Commons for several years now. Because of copyright restrictions, the Visual Resources Center’s images are not in Shared Shelf Commons, but many other UD collections are. These include, for instance, the UD Library’s own Franklin C. Daiber Botanical Collection, which was featured in a recent post in the Artstor Blog.
You will now find a list of “Shared Shelf Commons” collections at the center of the main Artstor search page, directly below the list of UD’s “Shared Shelf Institutional Collections” (which includes the VRC’s collection). Note that all of the UD collections listed here under Shared Shelf Commons also appear in the list of Institutional Collections. These particular collections (mostly from the UD Library) now essentially exist twice within the Artstor environment, which means that your search results will include duplicates of these images. It’s an unintended consequence of merging the two systems: the people at Artstor are aware of this little quirk, and will hopefully be fixing it in the near future.
Renzo Piano Building Workshop, Kimbell Art Museum Expansion, 2007-2013, Fort Worth, Texas
As the school year winds down, Artstor has been busy adding new images, particularly in the area of contemporary art and architecture. Take a look at these new and expanded collections in the Artstor Digital Library:
The first installment of contemporary art images from the D. James Dee Archive, which documents the SoHo art scene since the 1970s
Thomas McGovern’s photographs of the AIDS crisis during the 1980s and 1990s
Susan Davi and I will be offering an introductory workshop on Artstor on Tuesday, April 14, from 2:00 to 3:30 pm in 116A Morris Library. We will offer training and tips on how to find and download images, create image groups, and use the Offline Image Viewer (OIV) for classroom presentations. We will also discuss Artstor’s Shared Shelf and Shared Shelf Commons, two new ways the University of Delaware is working with Artstor to make our digital image collections available online.
Johannes Vermeer, The Concert (detail), ca. 1665, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston (stolen 1990)
Twenty-five years ago today, two thieves stole thirteen works of art–together valued at around half a billion dollars–from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. It was the largest property crime ever in this country, and one of the most famous art thefts of all time. The stolen items have never been returned. The Gardner is still offering a $5,000,000 reward for their recovery.
Among the works lost were five drawings by Degas, a painting by Manet, three Rembrandts, and one of only about three dozen Vermeers in existence.
The Gardner is commemorating this milestone with a slideshow on its website, where you can learn more about these works and the events of March 18, 1990.
The Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington are among the nation’s most important collections of Asian art, with a particular strength in the arts of China. In addition, they are home to works from ancient Egypt, the Islamic world, and the United States, including James McNeill Whistler’s famous Peacock Room at the Freer.
You can read the press release about Open F|S here.
William P. Barrett, The Library of George Frederick Ernest Albert Prince of Wales, 1904, University of Delaware Library, Newark
The University of Delaware Library’s own William Augustus Brewer Bookplate Collection is the subject of a recent post in the Artstor Blog. The story highlights the Library’s collection of well over 12,000 bookplates dating from the 18th through 20th centuries, all of which can be viewed in Artstor.
The Brewer bookplates represent just one of many image collections from the UD Library that are available in Artstor. And even for non-Artstor subscribers, the Library’s collections are made freely available to anyone through the open-access Shared Shelf Commons.