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.