the Metropolitan Museum of Art made an amazing announcement,
more than 375,000 images found in the museum’s online collection are now available for free and unrestricted use, like this one, Joan of Arc. Jules Bastien-Lepage, 1897, oil on canvas,
you could almost be forgiven for thinking that this is a photograph, but it is not, it is an oil on canvas by Jean-Léon Gérôme, 1868–69, the high-resolution images are licensed under Creative Commons, the non-profit organisation that facilities the public use of some 1.1 billion digital works,
not only are pictures and sculptures included but all and any works of art are in the collection, like this award to the Hammond Typewriter Company, by Jules-Clément Chaplain (French, Mortagne, Orne 1839–1909 Paris), cast in Bronze, the announcement is an update to the Met’s 2014 initiative placing hundreds of thousands of images into the public domain, but the expanded policy, called Open Access, now allows for unrestricted usage including commercial purposes, the vast library of paintings, historical objects, photographs, textiles, and prints can now be utilised anywhere for any purpose, Metropolitan Museum of Art Director and CEO Thomas P. Campbell shares in the announcement:
'We have been working toward the goal of sharing our images with the public for a number of years. Our comprehensive and diverse museum collection spans 5,000 years of world culture and our core mission is to be open and accessible for all who wish to study and enjoy the works of art in our care. Increasing access to the Museum’s collection and scholarship serves the interests and needs of our 21st-century audiences by offering new resources for creativity, knowledge, and ideas. We thank Creative Commons, an international leader in open access and copyright, for being a partner in this effort.'
all images available through the new Open Access policy are searchable on the Met’s website, simply check the “Public Domain Artworks” option under “Show only” and start searching and what treasures you will find!