The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore–one of our Department’s CTPhD Program partners–was among the first museums to make images of many of the artworks in its collection freely available to the public way back in 2012. Ever since that time, you have been able to download high-resolution images of its works either on the museum’s own website or in Wikimedia Commons under a Creative Commons (CC BY-SA) license.
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.
Artstor has integrated Shared Shelf Commons into its search engine. From now on, a UD user searching “All Collections” in Artstor will find all relevant materials from the Artstor Digital Library (1.9 million images), UD’s local Shared Shelf collections (150,000 images), and Shared Shelf Commons (200,000 images).
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.
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
- Works by contemporary artists Wangechi Mutu and Joseph Peller
- Additional examples of contemporary architecture designed by the Renzo Piano Building Workshop
- Additional images–mostly of Central Park in New York–from the Foundation for Landscape Studies
- The collection of Andean ceramics at UCLA’s Fowler Museum
Several new collections have been added to the Artstor Digital Library this semester, and a number of existing collections have also been enlarged. These new additions include:
- Over 700 images of works in the Harn Museum of Art at the University of Florida
- Nearly 1,000 images of works from the collection of Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens in Washington, DC
- The art of Mexico–and especially of the Mexican muralists–in over 2,000 photographs by Bob Schalkwijk
- 20 images of works by contemporary artist Howardena Pindell
- Additional images of contemporary Asian art from the Asia Art Archive
- Contemporary architecture in Mexico City: additional images from Art on File
- Additional images of modern and contemporary art in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
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.
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 College Art Association has published its Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts. This follows and builds upon CAA’s 2014 publication of Copyright, Permissions, and Fair Use among Visual Artists and the Academic and Museum Visual Arts Communities: An Issues Report.
The Freer and Sackler Galleries, the Smithsonian Institution’s museums of Asian art, released their entire digitized collections online on January 1, 2015. With the new Open F|S, you can now download high-resolution images of more than 40,000 works in the two museums, and you are permitted to use them for any non-commercial purpose.
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.
This month, new images have been added to the following collections in the Artstor Digital Library:
- Perhaps most significantly, more than 24,000 additional images of works in the world-class collection of the National Gallery of Art in Washington (note that you may also download larger versions of these images directly from the NGA’s own website)
- 600 additional images of works in the Dallas Museum of Art as part of the Images for Academic Publishing (IAP) program
- 3,000 additional images of Tibetan, Chinese, and Indian art and architecture by Rob Linrothe
- Nearly 7,000 additional images from Franklin Furnace
- 1,000 additional images from Panos Pictures