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.

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.

Shared Shelf Is Here!

Shared Shelf logo



UD’s VisualCat (LUNA) collections were officially retired on June 30, 2013. All of the VRC’s images that were formerly in VisualCat are now available exclusively in our Shared Shelf collection in ARTstor. You can find more details about ARTstor, Shared Shelf, and the former VisualCat in my earlier post.

LACMA’s New Collections Website

Iranian (Safavid), Ardabil Carpet (detail), 1539-1540, Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Iranian (Safavid), Ardabil Carpet (detail), 1539-1540 (Photo © Los Angeles County Museum of Art,

Two years ago, I reported that the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) had launched its Image Library, which allowed users to download images of works from its collection for any purpose. Now LACMA is expanding this service through its new collections website, which vastly increases the number of images available for download from 2,000 to 20,000. And like before, the Museum places no restrictions on your use of these images, so you are free to do whatever you want with them.

ARTstor Drops Java

ARTstor logoARTstor has announced that it will soon discontinue the use of Java in its Digital Library. This comes after security concerns over Java caused some subscriber institutions to drop support for Java, effectively preventing them from using ARTstor at all. While this has not occurred at UD, we have noticed some technical difficulties with Java recently.

We won’t know how much of a change this will mean for regular ARTstor users until we see it in action, but I suspect it will only require minor adjustments to our current habits. After the switch, downloads will arrive to you as zip files, a change which will likely affect PC users (who may have the added step of “unzipping” the files) somewhat more than Mac users.

The VRC staff will be here to help if you have any problems during the transition!

New Collections in ARTstor

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, La Loge, 1874, Courtauld Gallery, London

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, La Loge, 1874, Courtauld Gallery, London

ARTstor has released a number of important new image collections recently. These include the following:

  • The Courtauld Gallery (one of London’s most renowned small museums; it’s the home to Édouard Manet’s famous A Bar at the Folies-Bergère and other masterpieces of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painting)
  • IAP images from the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore (the Walters has long contributed to ARTstor, but now it is making available high-resolution images of its works suitable for publication as part of the Images for Academic Publishing (IAP) program)
  • Additional images from the Indianapolis Museum of Art (over 1000 new images from the museum, some of which are also part of the IAP program)

For a more complete list of recent collection releases in ARTstor, click here.