METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART PUT 375,000 ARTWORKS IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN FOR UNRESTRICTED USE.
Metropolitan Museum New York’s most prestigious art havens announced that it will place 375,000 images of its artworks in the public domain, allowing for free and unrestricted use of the collection. The works will now be licensed under Creative Commons, an American non-profit organization dedicated to expanding the amount of works in public domain.
As of February 7, 2017, all images of public-domain works in The Met collection are available under Creative Commons Zero (CC0). So whether you’re an artist or a designer, an educator or a student, a professional or a hobbyist, you now have more than 375,000 images of artworks from our collection to use, share, and remix—without restriction. This policy change to Open Access is an exciting milestone in The Met’s digital evolution, and a strong statement about increasing access to the collection and how to best fulfill the Museum’s mission in a digital age.
Paul Gauguin (French, 1848–1903) | Ia Orana Maria (Hail Mary) | 1891
Featured Artwork of the Day: Head of a king | ca. 4th century | Iran
Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853–1890) | Irises | 1890
The Met has an incredible encyclopedic collection: 1.5 million objects spanning 5,000 years of culture from around the globe. Since our audience is really the three billion internet-connected individuals around the world, we need to think big about how to reach these viewers, and increase our focus on those digital tactics that have the greatest impact. Open Access is one of those tactics.
Leonardo da Vinci (Italian, 1452–1519) | Head and Shoulders of a Woman (La Scapigliata) | ca. 1500–1505 |
Paul Cézanne’s “Gardanne,” 1885–1886, is on view in The Met Breuer’s inaugural exhibition “Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible.”
Edgar Degas, The Rehearsal of the Ballet Onstage (1874)
The images we’re making available under a CC0 license relate to 200,000 public-domain artworks in our collection that the Museum has already digitally catalogued. This represents an incredible body of work by curators, conservators, photographers, librarians, cataloguers, interns, and technologists over the past 147 years of the institution’s history. This is work that is always ongoing: just last year we added 21,000 new images to the online collection, 18,000 of which relate to works in the public domain.