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Art and Architecture Images

Tips and Lists:

Chronicle of Higher Education blog: Find Free Images Quickly with Compfight. Guide to online service that helps you to search Flickr efficiently for Creative-Commons licensed photos.


Hey Jude: Learning in an Online World: Find Free Images Online. Links to many resources plus tips and advice on using images on the web.



Image Providers:George Cruikshank. "Life in London, plate 30, A Shilling Well Laid Out." engraving, 1820s.

African Media Online. Commercial vendor based in South Africa. Sells publication rights to African photos, audio files and texts produced by African journalists.

Agence Photographique: Réunion des Musées Nationaux de France.                                                                         
Works of art from French museums. Although there is an English version,
searches work best in French.

AKG Images: Arts and history picture library, located in London. Commercial vendor. Over 10 million images available.

American Museum of Natural History. Digitized Special Collections material. High res images may be purchased. Must be licensed for reproduction.
 
American School in Rome Photo Archive. Images may be licensed and purchased for publication.

Ancient World Image Bank. Images contributed by the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University, may be used FREELY with proper citation under Creative Commons license.

Araldo de Luca. High resolution commercial images of art, mainly European and ancient western world.

Archaeological World in Roman & Greek Period. Photographic archive of archaeological sites. Images and videos for sale.

Archivision. Commercial vendor of high quality images of worldwide architecture, landscape architecture, public art and design. Royalty-free images available.

Art Images for College Teaching. Images taken or collected by art historian Allan T. Kohl. Copyright either belongs to Kohl or is in the public domain. Images may be used FREELY for teaching purposes. Particularly helpful for ancient and medieval art.

Art on File. High quality photographic images relating to architecture, landscape architecture, public art and temporary exhibitions.

Art Resource. Commercial vendor of high quality fine art images from American and European museums.

Arthistoricum Image Resources. Selected German image collections, including architectural drawings, GDR furniture design, caricatures, miniatures from the Biblioteca Palatina, photography and more. Site allows some English searching but most of the information is in German. Images must be purchased.

Arts of the United States. Contains over 4000 images important to the history of art in the US. Images may be licensed for publication and they have been generous towards academic publications in the past. The photography was executed in the mid 20th century.

ARTstor (available to Brown users only). Collection of over one million images obtained from museums, scholars, and vendors, and covering the arts and social sciences. Most require further inquiry to obtain publication rights. See also Images for Academic Publishing.

Artsy. More than 25,000 images are FREELY available for download. Images are public domain or have already been offered for free access on the web. Covers all areas of art.

Asian Historical Architecture. Collection of digital photographs from many different contributors. Rights may be negotiated with individuals.

Baileys African History Archive. Commercial site, holds the archives of forty years of material from Drum Magazine and its sister publications.

Bibliotheque National de France Banque d'Images: More than 150,000 images from the French national library. Site is in French. Images must be licensed.

Bildbasis.de : "Bildarchiv für historische Bilder." Commercial site for historical images, including arts, architecture and sciences. In German.

Bildindex der Kunst und Architektur: Bildarchiv Foto Marburg. Images from the Marburger Index. In German.

Bildportal Preußischer Kulturbesitz: Commercial source for images of art in the museums of the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz in Berlin. Images on the site appear with large watermark and must be purchased. 

Bridgeman Education. Commercial vendor of art images for educational use. They will also work with you to try and track down the availability of specific images.

Bridgeman Footage Platform. Commercial vendor of art images also now makes available "cultural footage from around the world" for licensing.

British Library Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts. Complete catalog records and spectacular images which can be freely downloaded at a high resolution.

British Library Illustrations digitized from 17th, 18th, and 19th century books. On Flickr Commons for "anyone to reuse, remix, or repurpose." FREELY available.

British Museum Images. Charges licensing fees for commercial and publication uses. 

Calisphere: Digital collection of images relating to California, including architecture, art, historical photographs, etc. from California institutions. May be used freely for educational purposes, obtain permission for publication and other uses.

Chartres: Cathedral of Notre-Dame. Images FREELY available for educational purposes. 

Chester Beatty Library Image Gallery. Charges licensing fees for publication and reproduction.

Chicago Architecture Data. "Photos and information on thousands of buildings, categorized by style and community area." Photos not not sourced from the Cook County Assessor are licensed under Creative Commons and may be used FREELY with credit and link to site.

Collage: London Metropolitan Archives Online Image Database. Includes the entire collection of the Guildhall Art Gallery (paintings, watercolors, drawings and sculptures), as well as 25,000 prints and drawings (including caricatures) and over 1000 maps. Devoted primarily to London life from the 15th century to the present. Fees charged for use of images (watermarks are included on online versions).

College Art Association Image Sources and Rights Clearance Agencies. Lists sources that provide images, with focus on those suitable for publication.


Cornell University Collection of Political Americana. Images from the Susan H. Douglas Collection of American campaign memorabilia from 1789 to 1960. May be used FREELY for "private study, scholarship or research" but permission must be obtained for any other uses.

Country Life Picture Library: Images of British country houses, gardens, and interiors, along with other architecture. Low resolution, watermarked images may be downloaded, higher resolution images must be purchased.

Currier Museum of Art CollectionsAmerican and European art. Most are available online and many are zoomable. Images are FREELY available for educational and non-commercial uses. Commercial or publication uses must obtain permission.

Davis Art Images. Image sets available for K-12 and college teaching. Individual images may also be purchased. Art and architecture worldwide covered.

Digital Archive of Architecture: Images of personal slides by Professor Jeffery Howe of Boston College.


Digital Images Collection Guide. Crowd-sourced collection of "exemplar image collections," curated by Scott Spicer and maintained on the ALA Connect website. Lots here!

Digital Library for the Decorative Arts and Material Culture: Emphasis on but not limited to early America. Image resources and digitized books, including botanical and zoological illustration, ceramics, and more. Images may be used FREELY for educational purposes. For other uses, contact the University of Wisconsin Library.

Digital Scriptorium: Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts from many institutions. Images may be used FREELY for educational purposes. For other uses, contact the contributing institution.

Emporis: "Locate buildings in every country around the world." Many of the buildings include images which may be purchased.

Esto Photographics: "Images of Architecture and the Built Environment." Vendor of high quality architectural photographs by well-known photographers. Especially good source for 20th century modernism.

Five Colleges and Historic Deerfield Museum Consortium Collections Database. Consortium of college museums in western Massachusetts. Images may be used FREELY for educational purposes. Contact individual collections for other uses.

Flickr Creative Commons. Can be an excellent resource of high quality architectural and sculptural images. Rights vary depending upon the photographer.

Flickr: Internet Archive Book Images. Illustrations from public domain books. FREELY available.
 
Fondation Jacques-Edouard Berger - World Art Treasures. Berger was a curator of the Museum of Fine Arts in Lausanne who brought back over 100,000 pictures from his world travels. They appear to be FREELY downloadable  for teaching and research.

FotoSearch: Stock photography and footage  commercial site. Images must be purchased. Includes royalty-free images.

Freeimages. "The leading source of FREE stock photos."

French Revolution Digital Archive: Collaboration of Stanford University Libraries and the Bibliothèque nationale de France. Images may be FREELY used for non-commercial purposes with attribution. Commercial use may be licensed for a fee.

Getty Images. Commercial site of stock photography. As of March 2014, images will be available for FREE if used in an open-embed program that gives credit to the source. Not to be confused with the Getty Museum and Institute.

Getty Museum Open Content Program. High resolution images of works from the Getty that are in the public domain and may be used FREELY. Recent additions include Max Hutzel Photographs of Art and Architecture in Italy and 15th through 18th century tapestries.

Getty Museum Portal at the Digital Public Library of America. Includes images, books, and more. Public domain images may be used FREELY.

Google Art Project. Worldwide arts resource with images posted by museums. For educational use. Resolutions and rights vary by source.

Google Cultural Institute. "Google has partnered with hundreds of museums, cultural institutions, and archives to host the world's treasures online." Rights will vary by source.

Great Buildings Collection: Good source for plans and 3D models of well-known buildings.

Heritage Images. "The premier source of cultural, historical and fine art images." Commercial site, images must be purchased. Includes interesting images of cultural heritage.

Historic Illustrations of Art and Architecture :Public domain images available for FREE downloads. Good for plans and architectural drawings.

Image Minders: The Image Consulting Cooperative: "members work with cultural organizations, academic institutions, and private scholars or image collectors who want to share their analog or digital image collections."

ImageNet: "An image database organized according to the WorldNet hierarchy in which each node of the hierarchy is depicted by hundreds and thousands of images."

Images for Academic Publishing (IAP).  Available through ARTstor and initiated by the Metropolitan Museum. Provides scholars with FREE high quality images for academic publications. A number of additional museums and resources are currently in the process of adding images to the collection. Users without access to ARTstor may still request access to the IAP collection.

Imperial War Museum, London: Many images may be FREELY downloaded. You must check the individual image's rights as listed on the website.

Index of Christian Art Additional Resources. Covers a wide range of media and subject area in Medieval and Byzantine art. FREELY available, including access to some high resolution publishable images.

Inter-American Institute for Advanced Studies in Cultural History.  Large database of worldwide architectural images taken by Dr. James Bartholomay Kiracofe, available for licencing.

Internet Book Archive images on Flickr. Public domain images FREELY available, culled from books scanned by the Internet Archive.

Irish Photo Archive. Irish historical photographs and documents, available for licensing.

John J. Audubon's Birds of America. Audubon Society site offering FREE high resolution images of the prints from this work.

John Johnson Collection of Printed Ephemera at the Bodleian Libraries. British history through graphic arts, strongest in 18th-20th century materials. Reproduction in academic journals is FREE but permission MUST be obtained first.

LIFE Photo Archive. Millions of historic photographs from the magazine, most never published. FREELY available although site states that images may be subject to copyright. Proceed with caution.

Landslides. Vendor of aerial photography. Many types of photographs available depicting landscapes, cities, and topics such as suburbs, edge cities and New Urbanism.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. LACMA now allows the FREE download without restriction of high resolution images believed to be in the public domain. Free images contain a link that says "Download Image." Images with copyright protection contain the link "Order photography" instead.

Masters of Architecture. Commercial vendor of digitized slide sets from Pidgeon Audiovisual and World Microfilms. Includes mostly Europe, the United States, Australia and Japan.

Metropolitan Museum of Art Image Resources.   The museum has contributed a selection of images to the Images for Academic Publishing program hosted by ARTstor. These images may be used for FREE for scholarly publications. Available at Brown through ARTstor or directly from the museum. Public domain images now FREELY available as well from the website for scholarly purposes, under the section Open Access for Scholarly Content icon [OASC].

Morgue File. FREE images to use with credit to photographers.

Motco UK Directory and Image Database: Antique Maps, Prints & Books. CDs of the "Great Maps of London" for sale as well as reproductions.

Moteur Collections. Images of French architecture. Site in French.

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Over 30,000 images from collections available for FREE high resolution download, either under Creative Commons license or under no restrictions at all (depends on the image).

National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC Image Collections. More than 20,000 images from the museum collections now FREE for scholarly AND commercial publication.

National Portrait Gallery, UK: "The National Portrait Gallery now provides free downloads of a large range of images from its Collection for academic and non-commercial projects through a new web-site facility. Over 53,000 low-resolution images will now be available FREE of charge to non-commercial users through a standard 'Creative Common' license and over 87,000 high-resolution images will also be available FREE of charge for academic uses through the Gallery's own licences."

National Trust Images: "inspirational photography to best show the diversity and historical range of places in the National Trust's care." Low resolution images may be downloaded. Higher resolutions must be purchased.

Netherlands Institute in Istanbul Machiel Kiel Photographic Archive. Pertaining mainly to Ottoman architecture of the Balkans, photographed from the 1960s to 1990s. Images may be used FREELY in publications with proper credit given. Higher resolution images may be obtained by writing to the archive.

New Old Stock. "Vintage photographs from the public archives, FREE of known copyright restrictions." Images come from many institutions and websites.

New York City Municipal Archives Online Gallery. Free and open access to over 800,000 images from the city archives, including photos, maps, motion pictures and audio recordings. Prints may be purchased. Permission must be obtained and licensing fees paid for publication.

New York Public Library Digital Gallery. Free and open access to over 800,000 images from the library collections.

New York Public Library Digital Collections: Map Division. 20,000 historical maps in the public domain, digitized in high resolution and available for FREE download for any purpose.

New York Public Library Picture Collection Online. Over 30,000 images from books, magazines, newspapers and original material.  May be used for personal research or larger sizes may be purchased from library. 

Open Collections. Compilation of openly licensed image collections from several cultural institutions. All contain images that can be FREELY used without restriction. OpenGLAM site.

Open F/S. The complete digitized collections of the Freer and Sackler Galleries and the Freer Study Collection. Images may be used FREELY for all non-commercial purposes.

Paradoxplace: An amateur site with many photos of medieval architecture. Images may be used for educational purposes with proper attribution.

Peregrinations: architectural photographs related to pilgrimage. Copyright-free for academic publication.

Photo Roma: site with thousands of photos of Rome and other Italian cities, free to use for non-commercial purposes. Authorization requested for commercial use. 

Photographers Gallery: commercial site relating to photography, including some well known photographers.

Pictures of Record.  Commercial vendor of archaeology and anthropology related images.

Pidgeon Digital. Illustrated talks by architects and related designers available by subscription. 

Pitts Theology Library Digital Image Archive. More than 47,000 public domain images of religious topics, many from the Kessler Reformation Collection. FREELY available for educational and non-commercial uses. A small fee applies for publication.

Prado Image Bank and Print on Demand. High resolution images can be purchased, fees vary but they are not inexpensive.

Prometheus. Subscription based collection of "high-quality digitized images from the fields of arts, culture, and history." Connects 71 mostly German institutions. Trial subscriptions avaialable.

Public Domain Archive. "Vintage and modern public domain images." FREELY available.

Public Domain Images Online. Compilation of FREELY available, public domain images from across the web, covering a wide range of subject areas.

Public Domain Photos. Repository of FREE public domain images.

The Public Domain Project. Thousands of media files that may be downloaded FREELY. Includes film, audio, still images and 3D models.

Rijksmuseum API Collectie.  "Basic collection" of over 103,000 records with high resolution scans downloadable under Creative Commons license.

Rijksmuseum Rijksstudio:  "Rijksmuseum makes its digital collection of 125,000 masterpieces FREE to all."

Ritmeyer Archaeological Design. commercial images related to  Biblical Archaeology.

Robert A. Baron's Images for Commercial and Educational Licensing.  Architectural and sculptural images as well as the natural and built world.

Robert Rauschenberg Research Project. Research site for Robert Rauschenberg works in SFMOMA collection. Includes downloadable images for educational use. Licensing fees and permissions are needed for publication and reproduction.

Rotman Collection of Vintage Stereographs of India. Smith College collection of stereoscopic views of India taken between 1819 and 1900. Images appropriate for classroom projection may be downloaded FREELY.

Royal Academy of Arts Collections (UK). Permission must be obtained to reproduce images.

Royal Collection Online Picture Library, UK. Fill out online applications for permission to reproduce.

Scala Archives. High resolution commercial images of art, history and the performing arts, particularly relating to Europe.

Scholars Resource. Commercial distributor of high quality art and architecture images from a number of vendors. Images may be purchased for teaching or publication. Brown professors may request that images be purchased for the Instructional Image Collection.

Science & Society Picture Library: Visual Collections of the Science Museum, Media Museum and Railway Museum, UK.

Shorpy: Fascinating blog about historical photographs with fantastic, high resolution images. Selected smaller size images may be downloaded for non-commercial use. Large size tiffs may be purchased for commercial use.

Slide Vendors list. Wiki of contact information for those wishing to determine digitization rights for commercial slides.

Smith College Historic Clothing Collection in Luna Insight. Images appropriate for classroom projection may be freely downloaded.

Smithsonian Institution Collections Online. Images may be used FREELY for non-commercial purposes. Includes works within the broad categories of Art & Design, History & Culture, and Science & Technology.

Tate Gallery Images E-Commerce site: Use to download and purchase images.

Teach the Web: Using Museum Images - Open and Closed: Blog entry discussing a number of museums that offer images with varying degrees of rights attached. Many are FREELY available.

Turkish Cultural Foundation.  Image archive of Turkish art FREELY accessible for educational purposes. 

UbuWeb. Site dedicated to the Avant-Garde, offering FREE downloads of films, videos and much more.

United States National Archives. Historical photograph images on Flickr Commons page are in the public domain and may be FREELY used.

University of Colorado Boulder Libraries Collection. Featuring many different subjects, including public domain images that may be FREELY used. See individual images for rights information.

Unsplash "FREE (do whatever you want) high-resolution photos stock photos. 10 new photos every 10 days."

United States Department of Agriculture Image Gallery. Photographic copyright free images, may be FREELY used.

Visual Resources Association: Flickr page. "Photographs taken by members of the VRA community who are interested in sharing images for educational purposes."

Walters Art Museum Images on Wikimedia Commons. More than 19,000 images from the museum collection, FREELY available with unrestricted use.

Walters Art Museum: New Eyes on American Art. American art newly digitized and FREELY available with unrestricted use.

Wellesley College Digital Images Collections Wiki. Resource of FREE and fair-use images available to anyone for educational and personal purposes. Contains links to images on other sites so quality will vary.

Whitney Museum of Art Collection. Permission form must be filled out in order to request rights to use images.

Wikimedia Commons. FREELY available images, including such resources as the United States National Archives. Licensing varies according to rights owner.

Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library. Images of works in the collection, including all kinds of material culture and crafts. Downloadable. Contact museum for further licensing and rights information.

World Images: California State University IMAGE Project. Small size images available on the website. Larger sizes may be licensed. Includes art from around the world as well as subject collections.

Yale Collections.  Searches across Yale's collections of art, natural history, books, maps, photos, audio and visual. Many are FREELY available for educational purposes. See copyright information on website.

Yorck Project on Wikimedia: Collection of art files available for FREE download. The site claims all images are in the public domain. Quality will vary.         

York Museums Trust online collections. Includes records for works that include and do not include images. Reproduction information included. Many are in the public domain and may be FREELY used.                                                          


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