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Image / Editorial

Stop Everything: 375,000 Priceless Artworks Are Now Available Online For Free


by Niamh ODonoghue
23rd Feb 2017

At the Seaside William Merritt Chase (American, Williamsburg, Indiana 1849?1916 New York)

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art has released a huge amount of priceless and iconic pieces of art into the public domain, making them available to anyone with internet connection.


The world without art really is just ‘eh’, isn’t it? Imagine how dull our world would be without the works of Michaelangelo, Picasso, Monet, Dali, Caravaggio, and more recently Georgia O’Keeffe, Banksy, Damien Hirst,?Mary Cassatt to name very few.

Priceless art or art of historical importance?was once associated with high-brow corners of society, but in a bid to share this extraordinary wealth of art and culture the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City have made over 375,000 pieces of art free to the public. The move is part of a brand new open access policy?which allows the art to be “downloaded?copied, modified, distributed (even for commercial purposes), all without asking permission,” according to the?Creative Commons.

[#Beginning of Shooting Data Section] Nikon D50 2007/03/19 15:18:37.7 Compressed RAW (12-bit) Image Size: Large (3008 x 2000) Lens: 55-200mm F/4-5.6 G Focal Length: 112mm Exposure Mode: Manual Metering Mode: Multi-Pattern 1/125 sec - F/10 Exposure Comp.: 0 EV Sensitivity: ISO 800 Optimize Image: Normal White Balance: Auto AF Mode: AF-S Flash Sync Mode: Flash Mode: Auto Flash Comp: Color Mode: Mode IIIa (sRGB) Tone Comp.: Auto Hue Adjustment: 0? Saturation: Normal Sharpening: Auto Image Comment: Long Exposure NR: Off [#End of Shooting Data Section]
British silk shoe, 1760-80,?Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Mrs. Clarence R. Hyde, 1928
The Met has devised a new section on their website that makes it easy to browse all of the artworks on offer; including works from Robert Adamson,?Eug?ne-Pierre Gourdet,?Leonardo da Vinci,?Albrecht D’rer, and?Polidoro da Caravaggio, and while these images were available online previously, this is the first time that’downloads are not restricted.

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, announced the big news, saying that ?the museums comprehensive and diverse museum collection spans 5,000 years of world culture and it’s their core mission is to be open and accessible for all who wish to study and enjoy the works of art in the museums care. “Increasing access to the Museum’s collection and scholarship serves the interests and needs of our 21st-century audiences by offering new resources for creativity, knowledge, and ideas”, he said in an official statement.

According to Vice, other museums like the?Rijksmuseum,?The Getty,?The National Gallery of Art, and??The New York Public Library?have since released portions of their collections, meaning the greats like Rembrandt and Monet now have a platform to be discovered and loved by generations to come. The Met Museum is collaborating with global partners to enable greater access to the collection, but for now, the 375,000 + pieces on offer should suffice.

Whether you’re a passionate art connoisseur, or simply have an interest in art, it’s literally all right here at your fingertips.

More art, less ‘eh’. please.