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.
You may have heard that Artstor recently allied itself with ITHAKA, the parent company of JSTOR. (And in case you missed it, Artstor had a pretty funny April Fools’ Day story about it.) Now that two of the leading providers of visual and textual content have joined forces, we should expect to see further integration of their resources.
A new pilot project gives us a glimpse of where this partnership may be heading in the future. Exploring Rembrandt shows how images of the master’s work from Artstor can be linked to articles in JSTOR that discuss them. It is still a small prototype–addressing only five of Rembrandt’s paintings so far–but I think it is easy to imagine how useful this could be on a much larger scale.
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:
- The Mauritshuis in The Hague, which houses the Dutch royal picture gallery, including many of the masterpieces of 17th-century Dutch painting (for example, Rembrandt’s Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Tulp, Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring, and Carel Fabritius’s Goldfinch)
- The Worcester Art Museum, home to one of the best collections in New England
And just today, several more Artstor collections have been enlarged:
The Visual Resources Collection in Princeton University’s Department of Art & Archaeology has just launched an online Sinai Icon Collection. Built around the original color photography in the Princeton-Michigan Sinai Archive, these images document the unparalleled collection of Byzantine icons in Saint Catherine’s Monastery at Mount Sinai. They were photographed during the joint expeditions to the monastery carried out by Princeton, the University of Michigan, and the University of Alexandria between 1956 and 1965, led by renowned Byzantinists Kurt Weitzmann and George H. Forsyth. This new digital resource contains over a thousand images that users can download for use in class presentations. If you are unfamiliar with the icons at Mount Sinai, you may want to begin by browsing the online exhibition of Highlights of the Collection.
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.
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
New images have recently been added to some existing collections in the Artstor Digital Library:
In one of its most significant additions in recent years, ARTstor has just released images of every painting in the collection of the National Gallery, London. With works ranging from the 13th to the early 20th century, the National Gallery has one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of European painting. Among the more than 2300 images from the National Gallery now available in ARTstor are such masterpieces as Jan van Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait, Titian’s Bacchus and Ariadne, Velázquez’s Rokeby Venus (left), Gainsborough’s Mr. and Mrs. Andrews, and Seurat’s Bathers at Asnières.
You can read more about the National Gallery’s collection in ARTstor here.
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:
- Getty’s press release
- Getty President and CEO James Cuno’s article in the Getty’s online magazine, The Iris
- Information about the Open Content Program and FAQ page
- Article on this and other Open Content/Open Access resources in The Atlantic
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.
ARTstor has released over 50,000 new images during the month of May, including:
- Paintings in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, home to the world’s premier collection of 17th-century Dutch art
- Images from Lukas — Art in Flanders, featuring works in the museums and churches of Belgium
- Works on paper in the Ackland Art Museum at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- Works in the Flint Institute of Arts in Michigan