Mar 21, 2018

The Met Uploads 400,000 Royalty-Free Images of Artwork

New York’s Metropolitan Museum has uploaded its collection online under its Open Access Initiative. More than 400,000 high-res images of public domain artwork are available for download now. Any professional or amateur artist can repurpose them for their own designs and creative experiments. You don’t even have to ask permission.

The Met’s undertaking is one of the biggest open source art initiatives in the world. The museum’s digital department used high-end Hasselblad cameras to capture high-quality images, and the museum is currently experimenting with producing 3D images of sculptures and historical artifacts with FARO laser scanners. “We could preserve the art world in a nice old pickle jar, but I don’t think that’s going to happen,” said Loic Tallon, The Met’s Chief Digital Officer. “The internet’s demand for art is huge, he adds, “and the world’s major art organizations should aim to satisfy it.”

Some artists have already shown off work completed with help or inspiration from the online collection. Simone Seagle, an independent web and educational software developer from Texas, created amazing animations of several pictures and even uploaded a tutorial on how she made them. Take a look at her work — maybe it will inspire your own artistic endeavours.