Poster for the WPA's Federal Art Project, 1936 (photo from the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution)
The Archives of American Art at the Smithsonian Institution has donated nearly 300 Works Progress Administration (WPA) photographs from the 1930s to Wikimedia Commons, the image collection affiliated with Wikipedia. These include portraits of artists like Charles Alston and Arshile Gorky, and photos showing artists at work on public murals and other Great Depression-era projects. You can view the complete collection here.
As works created explicitly for the Federal Government, most WPA works are not copyrightable and have therefore always been in the public domain. That means you can legally download and use these high-resolution images however you want, without having to seek permission.
Read more about this Smithsonian-Wikimedia collaboration here.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has recently redesigned its website. You can read an announcement here from the Met’s director, Thomas Campbell.
One feature which sets the new site apart from its predecessor is the ability to download large images of works from the Met’s permanent collection. The actual image sizes vary, but most are large enough to use in a Powerpoint presentation, and many of them are in fact quite large, so you can zoom in and make details if you need to. Many of the Met’s images are already available through ARTstor, but the new site provides another way to access this content.
The Met’s Terms and Conditions are also more generous than most. They do not permit unrestricted use of the images on their new site, as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Yale Center for British Art both explicitly do. However, the Met does permit you to use their images on a personal website, provided that the website is not-for-profit and non-commercial, that you do not alter the images in any way, and that you provide all accompanying caption information.
Screenshot of ARTstor's search page on October 6, 2011
If you have gone to ARTstor’s search page in the past few days, you may have been greeted by a new image. The Macintosh 128K Home Computer pictured there is the original model released by Apple in 1984, and the one marketed that year in the company’s famous Super Bowl commercial. It’s ARTstor’s low-key tribute to the late Steve Jobs, Apple’s co-founder.
This image also highlights the Museum of Modern Art’s Architecture and Design collection in ARTstor, which includes images of a number of Apple products at MoMA. Also among the nearly 7000 images in this collection are works by such designers as Louis Comfort Tiffany, Hector Guimard, Antoni Gaudí, Marcel Breuer, and Frank Lloyd Wright.