Freer and Sackler Collections Online

Chinese (Western Zhou), Bronze Fitting in the Form of a Tiger, ca. 900 BCE, Freer Gallery of Art, Washington

Chinese (Western Zhou), Bronze Fitting in the Form of a Tiger, ca. 900 BCE, Freer Gallery of Art, Washington

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.

Getty Open Content Program

Greek, Victorious Youth, 300-100 BCE, Getty Villa, Malibu

Greek, Victorious Youth, 300-100 BCE, Getty Villa, Malibu (Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program)

This week the J. Paul Getty Museum joins a growing list of institutions that have decided to remove all restrictions to the use of images of art works in their collections. The Getty’s Open Content Program was announced on Monday, making available an initial group of nearly 4,700 high-resolution digital images of objects from its locations in Los Angeles and Malibu, California. More images, including ones from the Getty Research Institute and the Getty Conservation Institute, will eventually also be added.

You can browse all Open Content images here, or search for particular works on the Getty’s website. A download button will appear under the thumbnail of any images that are part of the Program. You will be asked to provide some very generic information about who you are and what you’ll be using the image for (more specific information is required if you plan to publish it). But aside from that, you are generally free to use the image for any purpose, as long as you simply credit the Getty as the source of the image, as in the caption at left. And all of these images are made available free of charge. You can read more about the Getty’s Open Content Program at the following links:

The J. Paul Getty Museum holds outstanding collections of Greek and Roman antiquities, Medieval manuscripts, European paintings and drawings, decorative arts, and photographs.

Note: Please do not confuse the J. Paul Getty Museum’s Open Content images with Getty Images, a for-profit stock photo company with no connection to the Museum or any other part of the Getty Trust.

Dead Sea Scrolls Online

The Israel Museum in Jerusalem has teamed up with Google to digitize the Dead Sea Scrolls and make them accessible online. The Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Project has just released the first five complete scrolls.

The Dead Sea Scrolls were first discovered in 1947, and over the next decade fragments of nearly a thousand scrolls came to light. They are among the oldest and most important Biblical artifacts ever found, yet for years access to them was tightly controlled. The Huntington Library‘s decision in 1991 to make even its photographs of the scrolls available to scholars caused controversy at the time, so this latest development is truly welcome news.