The Metropolitan Museum of Art has a new policy known as Open Access, making 375,000 images of artworks freely available for unrestricted use (including commercial) in accordance with the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) designation.
The museum’s director and CEO, Thomas Campbell, said in a statement:
“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.”
Any image in The Met collection that has a “public domain” tag directly beneath can be downloaded and used as you see fit.
I particularly like these from Swiss-German artist Paul Klee (1879-1940).
Paul Klee, Three Houses, 1922.
Paul Klee, Movement of Vaulted Chambers, 1915.
Paul Klee, The Firmament Above the Temple, 1922.
Paul Klee, Colorful Architecture, 1917.
Open Access follows a similar policy last year by the New York Public Library where 180,000 images were made free to download and reuse.
One of those things that’s pretty great about the Internet.