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.
The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation has taken the unprecedented and very promising step of relaxing its copyright restrictions and endorsing the fair use of its images. This means that for most educational or academic purposes, like teaching or publishing, reproduction of the Foundation’s images of artworks by Robert Rauschenberg is free, legal, and actually encouraged.
One of the most important postwar American artists, Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008) emerged in the 1950s to challenge the prevailing current of Abstract Expressionism in the US. His works revived some of the ideas Dada had introduced earlier in the 20th century, and set the stage for the Pop art of the 1960s. It seems fitting that an artist like Rauschenberg–who unabashedly appropriated and incorporated “found objects” made by someone else into his own work–should lead the way towards the free and legal use of copyrighted images.
Just in time for the holidays, Artstor has released a number of new and expanded collections in the Artstor Digital Library:
- Modern and contemporary art in the National Gallery of Art, Washington
- Additional images of works in French museums from the Réunion des Musées Nationaux
- Additional fashion photography and New Yorker cartoons from Condé Nast
- The permanent collection of the Portland Art Museum, particularly its Northwest Coast and other Native American art
- Works by modern Indian artist Francis Newton Souza
Just this week, the Artstor Digital Library has released over 20,000 new images. New collections include the following:
- Works of art in the collections of the Harvard Art Museums (Fogg Museum, Busch-Reisinger Museum, Arthur M. Sackler Museum)
- Photographs by Donald Woodman
- Contemporary art installations at the Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh
The following collections in the Artstor Digital Library have also been expanded with additional images:
Here is a roundup of some recent stories from the museum world:
- A “grand bargain” appears to have saved the collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts, which was in danger of being sold off to help pay the massive debts of the bankrupt city of Detroit.
- A Renaissance statue of Adam by the Venetian sculptor Tullio Lombardo has been put back on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art after more than a decade of conservation. The marble statue had shattered in 2002 when its pedestal buckled beneath its weight.
- The Harvard Art Museums have reopened after a six-year expansion. The new complex, designed by architect Renzo Piano, unites the three museums (Fogg Museum, Busch-Reisinger Museum, and Arthur M. Sackler Museum) under a single roof.
- Billionaire Jerry Perenchio is donating his collection of 19th- and 20th-century art to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
- After the controversial deaccessioning of several works from its collection, the Delaware Art Museum has retired its debt and announced that it has received a number of new gifts.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has received a major gift in the form of Leonard Lauder’s collection of Cubist art, considered one of the greatest of its kind still in private hands. The 78 works in the Lauder Collection include 33 paintings by Pablo Picasso, 17 by Georges Braque, and 14 each by Juan Gris and Fernand Léger.
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.