Some of these websites have open access or public domain images. A few on the list are Met Museum, Cornell University Library - Registry of Digital Collections, Discover Yale Digital Content, Shared Shelf Commons, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Getty Search Gateway, Met Museum, and National Gallery of Art | NGA Images, Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum has copyright free images.
New York Public Library has public domain images searchable by color, century created, genre, and collection in a cool visualization tool. There is also the The Public Domain Review. NASA Image and Video Library has very high resolution images of space and space related content. Most images are not copyrighted. Please read their Media Usage Guidelines.
Europeana has public domain and Creative Commons licensed images, texts, music, and video from libraries, museums, and other educational institutions all over Europe.
ACRL's Digital Images Collection Guide
- From the site: "A curated bibliography of quality digital image collections spanning ~85 subjects, including ~950 digital collections, that have been culled primarily from the LibGuides Community, and several subject areas have been further refined by 20 subject liaison librarians at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities. To browse by 8 general discipline areas see: https://www.lib.umn.edu/media/imageguide (non-editable). The goal of the site is to share this work with the visual resources community, hopefully making the resource stronger through participation for others to repurpose."
- The vast majority of the artists in this database specialize in painting and sculpture. Artistic media is included when possible. Examples of these types of media are: photography, decorative arts, installation art, video, digital/web-based art, naïve art/folk art/outsider art, and architecture.
- Online fine art newspaper since 1996.
Artfinder gives you access to hundreds of thousands of paintings from artists, galleries, museums and collections around the world. With our growing number of images, artist biographies, guides and articles, learning about your favourite artists and works, and discovering new ones, has never been easier.
With Artfinder, you can start building your own art profile, receive personalised recommendations based on the art you like, and share and discuss art with friends via Facebook and Twitter.
Art History Resources on the Web
- Professor Christopher Witcombe from Sweet Briar College has put together a page of art history links including prehistoric art up through contemporary art. He also has links that divide the art by region. There are links to research resources and other miscellaneous useful art links.
- Free use resource for art images, mostly architecture but includes some painting and sculpture. These are “image copies that are the copyrighted property of Art Historian and photographer Allan T. Kohl (unless otherwise credited), are licensed for non-profit use as set forth” in their licensing information. It grants permission to use the images “freely and without further authorization in conjunction with educational activities such as teaching, research and scholarly publication.”
- Virtual catalog for art history. Formerly known as the Virtueller Katalog. Provides access to over 8 million bibliographic records for periodicals, conference papers, festschriften, auction catalogues, exhibition catalogues and much more. Along with the catalogues of The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Thomas J. Watson Library and the Getty Research Institute Research Library, Arcade is one of only three U.S. library catalogues included in this international search portal for the discovery of art resources.
- This site claims to be the portal for the world of art. Information about galleries, artists, auctions, printstore, bookstore, and a magazine are just some of the features.
- National Arts and Education Information Network. The mission of ArtsEdge is to help artists, teachers, and students gain access to and share information, resources, and ideas that support the arts. Great source for OER arts lesson plans and activites.
- The Getty’s Art Education Web site.
- Art Resource is the world's largest fine art stock photo archive, with more than 500,000 searchable fine art images from the world's leading sources, available for licensing to all media.
- This is a network of resources on Art and Architecture; includes links to other art-related web sites as well as original materials submitted by librarians, artists, art historians, and others.
- Requries invite but has nice resolution, fine art images from galleries, museums, and other institutions. It lets you see info about the work of art, sometimes in a room view, save works of art to your account, and lets you zoom in on the art work. Could be used as a presentation tool.
- This is a useful image directory. “The Artists Bluebook”. Extensive information about 32,000 artists.
British Museum Collections
Brooklyn Visual Heritage
- The Brooklyn Visual Heritage website provides access to a newly digitized corpus of 19th and 20th century photographs and other visual materials drawn from the rich collections of the Brooklyn Historical Society, Brooklyn Museum and the Brooklyn Public Library.
Cary Graphic Arts Collection at the Wallace Center at the Rochester Institute of Technology
- The Cary Collection is one of the country's premier libraries on graphic communication history and practices.The original collection of 2,300 volumes was assembled by the New York City businessman Melbert B. Cary, Jr. during the 1920s and 1930s.
The Cary Collection also manages the Graphic Design Archive, comprised of some 36 archives documenting the work of important 20th-century Modernist graphic designers, and has been aggressively acquiring examples of avant-garde book typography.
- This digital edition of the Codex Mendoza represents the first attempt in the world to create a digital resource that permits an in-depth study of a Mexican codex. Through this work the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (INAH; National Institute of Anthropology and History) demonstrates the broad-based utility of this type of edition and the need to seek new forms of representation for such complex systems of knowledge. At the same time, the effort furthers the permanent calling of the INAH to study, preserve, and spread awareness of the cultural patrimony of the Mexican people.
- The Internet Archive and the New York Art Resources Consortium (NYARC) have embarked on a collaborative project aimed at capturing and preserving at-risk web-based art materials. The project, formerly called the Consortial Action to Preserve Born-Digital Web-Based Art History & Culture and renamed as Collaborative ART Archive (CARTA), created a collaborative entity of art libraries building collections of archived web-based content related to art history and contemporary art practice.
Contemporary Artists Index
- Copyright protected, for sale images. Some are royalty-free. You need a subscription to acquire these images, but you can always just look for inspiration.
Cornell University Library - Registry of Digital Collections
Digital Art History Directory (DAHD)
- Open source/open acess publication containing a database of digital art history projects and information on data sources, best practices in Digital Art History project construction, preservation, and web archiving. Intended to be the largest, most comprehensive, and inclusive collection of information on Digital Art History and to function as a tool and living resource, rather than a static publication, the DAHD provides a platform for discovery, sharing, and research of Digital Art History.
Digital Collections of the Chicago History Museum
- The Chicago History Museum’s outstanding and diverse collection of images, objects, books, manuscripts, and costumes tell the stories of the city’s and the nation’s history. The Museum is dedicated to making the collection accessible through exhibitions, programs, publications, and via the web. Here you will find information about our diverse objects and artifacts. Although this section currently focuses on costumes, over time we will add pieces from the entire collection.
Discover Yale Digital Content
- The Design Decoration Craft site is run by John Hopper and is an inspirational point of reference for practical designers, makers and students covering many aspects of historical and contemporary creativity within design, decoration and craft.
Duchamp Research Portal
Europeana: Think Culture
Europeana enables people to explore the digital resources of Europe's museums, libraries, archives and audio-visual collections. It promotes discovery and networking opportunities in a multilingual space where users can engage, share in and be inspired by the rich diversity of Europe's cultural and scientific heritage. Ideas and inspiration can be found within the millions of items on Europeana. These objects include:
- Images - paintings, drawings, maps, photos and pictures of museum objects
- Texts - books, newspapers, letters, diaries and archival papers
- Sounds - music and spoken word from cylinders, tapes, discs and radio broadcasts
- Videos - films, newsreels and TV broadcasts
Fashion History Timeline
- The Fashion History Timeline is an open-access source for fashion history knowledge, featuring objects and artworks from over a hundred museums and libraries that span the globe. The Timeline website offers well-researched, accessibly written entries on specific artworks, garments and films for those interested in fashion and dress history.
Feminist art/contemporary women artists in 35 countries MA and PhD Theses.
- Covers 1974-present. Linked from KT Press n.paradoxa's site. Created Frances Hatherley and Katy Deepwell at Middlesex University. Know of a thesis that should be on this site? They encourage anyone to add the work of students and colleagues to this list.
Feminist-art-topics – 940 artworks in 30 topics.
Figure & Gesture Drawing: Tools for self-educating artists. Great for practicing your drawing!
Digital reproductions of works in the public domain from the collections of the National Library of France and its 270 partners. Search or browse by document type, theme, library, or collection. Searching can be done in English but most of the content is in French.
Getty Research Institute for the Arts and Humanities
- A great place for conducting research on contemporary and modern artists.
Getty Search Gateway or Getty Open Content Program
- Contains Open Content Images - Images now available for free download under the Getty's Open Content Program. See all open content images.
The Open Content Program makes high-resolution images of public domain artwork from the Getty collections freely available, without restrictions, to advance the research, teaching, and practice of art and art history. The initiative also aims to support and promote the open-access movement among museums and cultural heritage institutions in removing barriers to the use of cultural heritage images. Since 2013 images of over 150,000 images of public-domain art and archives in the Getty collections have been made freely available. Cataloging, digitization, rights review, and publishing of the collections are ongoing, adding more images to the Program monthly. Images in the Open Content Program regularly appear in academic and commercial publications, products and merchandise, and movies and TV.
Google Art Project
- Explore museums from around the world, discover and view hundreds of artworks at incredible zoom levels, and even create and share your own collection of masterpieces.
Google Image Search
- Great for when you just need a simple image fast for a paper or collage. But remember it is the Web so the resolution is usually very small so the quality of the image is not that great. Also, if you plan to publish or display the image you use, you should contact the person who made the image to make sure it is OK. Many images on the Web are copyrighted.
Indianapolis Museum of Art
International Center for the Arts of the Americas at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
- The ICAA Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art digital archive provides access to primary sources and critical documents tracing the development of twentieth-century art in Latin America and among Latino populations in the United States.
- A non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more.
- The Prints & Photographs Online Catalog (PPOC) provides access to photographs, fine and popular prints and drawings, posters, and architectural and engineering drawings. While international in scope, the collections are particularly rich in materials produced in, or documenting the history of, the United States and the lives, interests and achievements of the American people.--about 14 million digital images in all. Not all images are in public domain and if you are going to use them for publishing you need to determine if copyright restrictions apply. The main Library of Congress page, offers a wealth of other types of cultural and educational resources as inspiration for any artist.
Mapping Gothic France
From the site: "Whereas pictures can be satisfactorily represented in two dimensions on a computer screen, space -- especially Gothic space -- demands a different approach, one which embraces not only the architectonic volume but also time and narrative. Mapping Gothic France builds upon a theoretical framework derived from the work of Henri Lefèbvre (The Production of Space) that seeks to establish linkages between the architectural space of individual buildings, geo-political space, and the social space resulting from the interaction (collaboration and conflict) between multiple agents -- builders and users.
"Mapping Gothic France will, we hope, become a vital educational and research tool for both students and scholars. We invite you to explore the site, and welcome both your comments and scholarly contributions to the narratives." Brought to you by Vassar's Andrew Tallon and Columbia's Stephen Murray.
Mapping the Moon in Black and White - A Harvard Map Collection Digital Exhibition
- Includes timeline with images of the moon
The McNay Art Museum Online Collection Database
- Since Marion Koogler McNay’s bequest in 1950, the museum’s collection has expanded to include nearly 20,000 works. Our online collection database currently features selections from our holdings, with an emphasis on our collection’s strengths. More object records are regularly being added to the searchable database.
Medieval Kingdom of Sicily Image Database
This website was created to collect, host and display images made by travelers, mapmakers, historians, architects and artists of medieval and early modern monuments and cities of Southern Italy. It includes prints, drawings, ground plans and elevations, paintings, photographs, and any other type of image of sites from roughly 1100 to 1450. The image sources include public and private collections, museums, libraries and archives, print books, and online resources.
- Renowned for its comprehensive collection of work that captures “5,000 years of art spanning all cultures and time periods,” New York City’s world famous Metropolitan Museum of Art has recently announced that 375,000 of its pieces in the public domain are now available without restrictions.
You can access the unrestricted images through the Met’s website. As you search its collection, all you need to do is check off the “Public Domain Artworks” option under “Show Only.” You can also browse the selected works by selecting the “Metropolitan Museum of Art” filter on the Creative Commons site.
- The Mid-Atlantic Herbaria Consortium includes herbaria from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and D.C. The Consortium serves as the portal for the Mid-Atlantic Megalopolis Project. We invite any Mid-Atlantic herbaria to join us online in digitizing the rich resources that are our regional plant collections. We also welcome citizen scientists, amateur botanists, and plant enthusiasts to add to our observation records with your own field data and images, or to contribute to our project by joining us in our specimen transcription efforts through a crowd sourcing module.
Moving Image Archive
- A collection of downloadable movies, newscasts, and videos covering topics such as computers and technology, arts and music, animation and cartoons, full-length feature films and more.
Moving Image Source
- "The Moving Image Source Research Guide is a gateway to the best online resources related to film, television, and digital media" - from the Moving Image Source website.
NASA Image and Video Library
- Very high resolution images of space and space related content. Most images are not copyrighted. Please read their Media Usage Guidelines.
National Gallery of Art | NGA Images
NGA Images is a repository of digital images of the collections of the National Gallery of Art. On this website you can search, browse, share, and download images. A standards-based reproduction guide and a help section provide advice for both novices and experts. More than 20,000 open access digital images up to 3000 pixels each are available free of charge for download and use. NGA Images is designed to facilitate learning, enrichment, enjoyment, and exploration.
- NYPL Digital Gallery provides access to over 300,000 images digitized from primary sources and printed rarities in the collections of The New York Public Library, including illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints and photographs, illustrated books, printed ephemera, and more. Choose from subject areas including arts, literature, cities, buildings, culture, society, history, geography, industry, technology, nature, science, printing and graphics.
OCAD University Zine Collection
- Established in 2007, the OCAD University Zine Library is an ever-growing collection of self-published and handmade objects located in the OCAD University Library's Learning Zone. The collection was created to inspire, educate and entertain, to encourage collaboration between OCAD U students and to open up the world of zines for readers and creators everywhere! Learn more about our collection and its history.
Oculi Mundi is a digital heritage destination: the home of The Sunderland Collection of world maps, celestial maps, atlases, globes and books of knowledge.
Pictify is the global home for sharing your favourite artworks, seeing other people’s, adding your comments, and building your own collection of
Your chances of owning a Van Gogh, Monet, Hockney or Hirst might be pretty slim but on Pictify you can. You can curate your own collections
favourite paintings, sculptures, photography, drawings, or any other art medium. Through Pictify you can share all art from the earliest cave drawings, the Renaissance, Old Masters and Impressionists to art works created today. If you love art and want to share it with millions of other people all over the world Get Started now on Pictify.
of art, make albums of your favourite paintings, photographs, sculptures and so on, and you can share your albums with your Pictify friends and
Print Council of America
- This website includes a “Search Oeuvre Catalogue” where you can type in the name of an artist and it will cite sources for their print works only, especially print catalogues raisonne. You would then have to check our online catalog. If we don’t own, request via interlibrary loan.
The Public Domain Review
- "Collections of films, audio, images and texts which are no longer protected by copyright. Trawling through the Internet Archive, Wikimedia Commons and other such sites, we bring you a continuously growing and curated slice of what the public domain has to offer. Most material featured is in the public domain worldwide but the rights status of some works (particular films) may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, so do check before reusing."
- Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum with copyright free images to use as you please!
Shared Shelf Commons
- Shared Shelf Commons is a free, open-access library of images. Search and browse collections with tools to zoom, print, export, and share images.
Smithsonian Collections Search Center
- The Collections Search Center provides easy "one-stop searching" of more than 2 million of the Smithsonian's museum, archives, library and research holdings and collections. The access to more Smithsonian collections via this Search Center is increasing over time.
Students' Guide to Italian Renaissance Architecture
- This interactive survey of Italian Renaissance architecture is presented within a cultural and historical context. Extensive use of explanatory graphics makes the content easier to understand.
- Great collection of books and manuscripts from the British Library with wonderful image resolution and audio. You actually see the original book and get to turn the pages.
- The internet’s source of freely-usable images.
- The UT Fine Arts Library has extensive information on their Web Site about art history research. They also have links to museum Websites. You can also search the catalog and use their print resources using your Texshare card. Be aware that fines are incurred on overdue material.
Victoria & Albert Museum
- The V&A is the world’s leading museum of art and design, housing a permanent collection of over 2.3 million objects that span over 5,000 years of human creativity. The Museum holds many of the UK's national collections and houses some of the greatest resources for the study of architecture, furniture, fashion, textiles, photography, sculpture, painting, jewellery, glass, ceramics, book arts, Asian art and design, theatre and performance.
The V&A's collections also include the National Art Library, the Archive of Art and Design, and the library collections of the Theatre & Performance Department. These are catalogued on a separate library database http://catalogue.nal.vam.ac.uk/
- Focuses on humanities research, including art, art history, photography, classical studies, architecture and many other art-related disciplines.
- The Web site is under copyright, but Alkek Library has permission for its students and faculty to use for academic and scholarly purposes, including publishing. Excellent collection of European and particularly Renaissance art. Once you get to a work, there are thumbnail prints, but when you click on the image, it will blow it up in size. Increases from 25% to 200%. Image quality is excellent and most images have an "i" icon which indicates they have some narrative regarding the image.
- Your Paintings is a website which aims to show the entire UK national collection of oil paintings, the stories behind the paintings, and where to see them for real. It is made up of paintings from thousands of museums and other public institutions around the country. Your Paintings is a joint initiative between the BBC, the Public Catalogue Foundation (a registered charity) and participating collections and museums from across the UK. You can create your own collection of paintings and add tags.