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.

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.

New and Expanded Collections Available in Artstor

Édouard Manet, Le Repos, ca. 1870-1871, RISD Museum, Providence

Édouard Manet, Le Repos, ca. 1870-1871, RISD Museum, Providence

New and expanded collections in the Artstor Digital Library this spring include the following:

2015 Artstor Summary

Freake-Gibbs Painter, Elizabeth Clarke Freake (Mrs. John Freake) and Baby Mary (detail), ca. 1671, Worcester Art Museum

Freake-Gibbs Painter, Elizabeth Clarke Freake (Mrs. John Freake) and Baby Mary (detail), ca. 1671, Worcester Art Museum

As we enter the new year, the Artstor Digital Library now has more than two million images. To see all the collections that were added or expanded in 2015, and for a preview of what’s coming up in 2016, check out Artstor’s year-end summary.

Two new collections of note were added over the holidays:

And just today, several more Artstor collections have been enlarged:

New Collections and New Images Available in Artstor

Kwakwaka'wakw artist, Headdress Frontlet, pre-contact, Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon

Kwakwaka’wakw artist, Headdress Frontlet, pre-contact, Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon

Just in time for the holidays, Artstor has released a number of new and expanded collections in the Artstor Digital Library: