Friday, June 03, 2011

Art for the Digital Public

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) recently opened its doors to the digital public, providing free access to high-resolution images of the museum’s rich encyclopedic collection. Visitors to the library ( can download the images free of charge and without any restrictions on use. The Image Library opens with 2,000 public domain images (out of a collection of 100.000 artworks), representing a broad range of LACMA’s collections, including Egyptian, Decorative Arts and Design, Latin American, Chinese and Korean, European Painting and Sculpture, and many more.

You can view and donwload a Pissarro landscape; a 1704 still life of wild strawberries by the Dutch painter Adriaen Coorte; and gold earrings from the fifth to the seventh century. But the current selection is only a start, and the digital collection will grow. The fact that users could potentially take the images and make t-shirts or potholders adorned with a work does not bother the director. "It's negligible in the long run," Mr. Govan said. "My view is that it's better to get the images out there so people will want to come and see the real thing." Each work in the library comes with identifying information and a link to its listing on the museum's online collections, where further information can be found.

You can find this resource for free images along with others using APL's Image Locator Information Guide.

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