Ever wished that the pieces hung in those art museums were part of your living room, or maybe even your wallpaper? Unless you are a world class art thief or a multi-millionaire, those dreams would remain a dream generally. But thanks to the Metropolitan Museum of Arts’ decision to release an astounding 394,000 high resolution images of the world class images it has in its collection, that dream can now be fulfilled quite easily.
The initiative by the Museum is called – Open Access for Scholarly Content (OASC) – and gives access to work of art that it believes to be in the public domain and free of other known restrictions.
Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of The Metropolitan Museum of Art said, “Through this new, open-access policy, we join a growing number of museums that provide free access to images of art in the public domain. I am delighted that digital technology can open the doors to this trove of images from our encyclopedic collection.”
The Metropolitan Museum of Arts has the most extensive collection of artwork in the world, including more than 500 Picassos, along with dozens of paintings from Monet, Van Gogh, and Degas. Apart from the European master’s masterpieces, the Met also houses photographs of Aztec stone works, Greek sculpture, and Chinese calligraphy among other art related artifacts from around the world. And this month, the Met have decided to release digital images of all of that to the public, freely available to the public.
Visitors to the Met’s website can sort images by artist, medium, location, and era. All of the images are high resolution images with each of them being in excess of 10 megapixels, so they are ideal for printing and studying, which is what the Met intends its collection for. The images from the Met are intended for students, educators, researchers, and creators of non-commercial content. Those wanting to use one of the Met’s images for commercial reasons will still have to license them from the museum.
Museums have always been a bit skeptical to allow high resolution digital copies of their collection, citing fears of forgery and decrease in revenue. The Smithsonian has more than 1.2 million images, film and audio clips available online, but many are posted at low resolution to discourage commercial use. But with efforts like the Google Art Project, the museums are now releasing their own high res version to fight back low resolution knock offs. Whatever may be the case, now is a wonderful time to get those digital version of the art that you always loved and perhaps apply it as your desktop wallpaper or even your apartment wallpaper.
Via: The Verge
Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art