The Louvre’s New Website

Statue of a headless female figure with wings, on top of a sculpted ship's prow, in a museum.

Greek (Hellenistic), Nike of Samothrace, ca. 190 BCE, Musée du Louvre, Paris

The Louvre – maybe the most famous museum in the world — has launched a new website. Its central feature is a collections database that gives you access to nearly half a million works of art (they claim that the museum’s entire collection is now online, although this is probably not even all of it). This is a major upgrade from the Louvre’s old site, which included only a limited selection of works, often with images too small to be very useful.

For many of the Louvre’s treasures, a variety of images are now available (including details and alternate views), which is an especially welcome feature. You can download these images at a maximum of 1500 pixels, which is a reasonable size for using in a PowerPoint presentation, but not large enough for publication. Keep in mind that the Louvre is still not an open-access institution, so while you may use these images for personal study or teaching, you are not allowed to publish or otherwise distribute them. And although much of the museum’s website is available in English, most of the information in the collections database is only in French.

You can read more in the Louvre’s press release.

Smithsonian Open Access

"The Death of Cleopatra" sculpture by Edmonia Lewis

Edmonia Lewis, The Death of Cleopatra, 1876, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC (artwork and digital image both in the public domain)

Smithsonian Open Access has arrived! Just this week the Smithsonian Institution released about 2.8 million images of objects in its collections with a Creative Commons Zero (CC0) designation, so you can now download them for free and use them however you want.

The Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery (which together make up the new National Museum of Asian Art) have been making images from their collections available on their website since 2015. This week’s release expands coverage to the rest of the Smithsonian’s 20 branches, including the Cooper Hewitt, the National Museum of African Art, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

More information is available in the Smithsonian’s press release.

Open Access at the Cleveland Museum of Art

Ma Lin, Scholar Reclining and Watching Rising Clouds, 1225-1275, Cleveland Museum of Art

Ma Lin, Scholar Reclining and Watching Rising Clouds, 1225-1275, Cleveland Museum of Art (artwork and digital image both in the public domain)

Another major American museum has joined the growing list of institutions to adopt an Open Access policy. The Cleveland Museum of Art announced this week that it is releasing about 30,000 images of works in its collection into the public domain, effective immediately. These images have been given a Creative Commons Zero (CC0) designation, which means you can use them for anything, without a fee or permission.

Art Institute of Chicago Images Are Now Open Access

Georges Seurat, A Sunday on La Grande Jatte, 1884-86, Art Institute of Chicago

Georges Seurat, A Sunday on La Grande Jatte, 1884-86, Art Institute of Chicago (artwork and digital image both in the public domain)

Good news! The Art Institute of Chicago has launched both a new website and a new Open Access policy for more than 44,000 of the images you’ll find on it. Like the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Walters Art Museum before it, the AIC has released its images into the public domain under a Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license, which is the least restrictive kind you can use. This means that you are free to download and reuse these images for any purpose–even a commercial one–without having to pay a fee or seek any additional permission. As always, this only applies to the museum’s images of artworks which are themselves in the public domain, so most modern and contemporary art (including Picasso’s Old Guitarist and Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks) is excluded from the policy.

Barnes Foundation Releases Open Access Images

Henri Rousseau, Woman Walking in an Exotic Forest, 1905, Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia

Henri Rousseau, Woman Walking in an Exotic Forest, 1905, Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia (Photo: Courtesy of the Barnes Foundation, Merion and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

The Barnes Foundation has joined a growing list of museums and other institutions that are designating their public domain images as Open Access. As always, this applies only to artworks not still protected by copyright, so most 20th-century artists (most notably Matisse, in the case of the Barnes) are excluded. But images of works by many earlier artists (such as Renoir and Cézanne) in the Barnes’ collection are now free for unrestricted use.

Artstor has a new look

Artstor logo

If you’re just returning to Artstor after a summer away, you’ll notice that it looks quite a bit different. In July, Artstor moved to a new platform, which will allow it to better integrate with JSTOR and the rest of its parent company, ITHAKA.

Because this meant rebuilding Artstor from the ground up, certain features of the old Artstor have been changed or eliminated altogether. The What’s New page lists all the recent changes. Take particular note that password-protected folders are gone. Image groups can now be shared across the University using a URL, and tags have replaced the old folder system. Personal collections have also been disabled temporarily, although they will be returning in some form in the near future.

Of course, if you have any problems or questions about the new Artstor, please do not hesitate to contact the VRC’s staff!

Nationalmuseum Images in Wikimedia Commons

Alexander Roslin, The Lady with the Veil, 1768, Nationalmuseum, Stockholm

Alexander Roslin, The Lady with the Veil, 1768, Nationalmuseum, Stockholm

The Nationalmuseum in Stockholm, Sweden’s premier art collection, has released over 3000 images of its works in Wikimedia Commons. It joins other institutions which have announced their own open access policies in recent years, including another major Scandinavian collection, the Statens Museum for Kunst in Copenhagen, and the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, which likewise chose to release its images through Wikimedia Commons.

You can access the Nationalmuseum’s images here, and read more about the collection here.

MoMA Exhibition History Online

Modigliani, exhibition, MoMA, April 10-June 10, 1951

Modigliani exhibition, MoMA, April 10-June 10, 1951

The Museum of Modern Art has launched an online resource documenting its complete exhibition history. Here you can find installation views, catalogues, checklists, and press releases for over 3500 exhibitions at MoMA from 1929 to the present. Needless to say, MoMA has played a central role in the history of modern and contemporary art, so this comprehensive resource should prove extremely valuable to scholars and students. You can read more in MoMA’s press release and an article in The New York Times.

OIV 4.1 Now Available

OIV logoA new version of Artstor’s Offline Image Viewer (OIV 4.1) is now available for download here.

OIV 4.1 has a number of new features, which you can learn more about in The Artstor Blog, the August 2016 OIV 4.1 Release Notes, or a short YouTube video. Perhaps most importantly, slide presentations no longer display slide numbers. However, Artstor chose to keep the “Image Viewer Icon” (which opens your image in a separate window, as it appears in Artstor) in the lower right corner of all presentations, where it can sometimes interfere with the image. In OIV 4.1, there is still no way to turn off this feature.