Art as Public Domain

Young Woman with a Water Pitcher by Johannes Vermeer (Dutch, Delft 1632–1675 Delft)

Young Woman with a Water Pitcher
by Johannes Vermeer (Dutch, Delft 1632–1675 Delft)

In these current times when Art, Culture and Civility appear to be under constant attack, news that museums and galleries – both private and public – are opening their virtual archives of Public Domain artworks to be just that, public, is newsworthy.

For example, a click on the image to the left takes viewers to the Metropolitan Museum’s website that includes not only the full details of the painting (description, catalogue entry, provenance and exhibition history, etc.), but also a hyperlink to a map of the gallery where viewers can find the actual painting, and related objects within the museum’s vast collection.

We’re happy to know that museums, whether virtual or physical, still provide inclusive space to breathe deep.

Met Museum Makes 375,000 Images Free

“Increasing access to the collection has been a priority for over a decade,” Thomas P. Campbell, the museum’s director, said at a news conference. “Twenty years ago, as a scholar, we had to negotiate access even for catalog cards.”

Now, anyone can download images directly from the Met’s website. “They can be used however you want to use them,” said Loic Tallon, the Met’s chief digital officer.

The Met is not the first museum to do this — other institutions to do so include the National Gallery of Art in Washington and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam — but the scale and breadth of its offerings is rare for a privately held collection. (The National Gallery’s website, by comparison, states that 45,000 open access artworks are available, and the Rijksmuseum has an ever-growing collection of over 150,000 images.) The Museum of Modern Art also made thousands of exhibition images from its archive available online last year.

Continue to full article and more art exploration here.

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