Thursday, March 15, 2012

Free Fab Pics 4 All!

Click all for bigger! Jacopo Ligozzi, A Marmot with a Branch of Plums, Italian, 1547 - 1627, 1605, brush with brown and gray wash, watercolor, and white gouache over traces of graphite, Wolfgang Ratjen Collection, Purchased as the Gift of Helen Porter and James T. Dyke

Is that the greatest groundhog in the history of art? I'm going to go ahead and say yes.

It's not often that I post here about my work, but this is very exciting, and I helped (a little)!

The National Gallery of Art has a new microsite,, which features high-res and fun-sized images of all the pre-1900 works in the permanent collection for which high-quality digital images are available. Right now there are tens of thousands up for grabs, and more are being added every day. You can download, free of charge, all the nice Powerpoint/blog-sized images (like the larger ones shown here) you want, and if you register for an account, you can help yourself to huge, print/publication-quality images for whatever reason strikes you... also free of charge, and with no limitations placed on their use!

This is not typical of the way museums operate, and I am very proud to share it with you.

Martin Schongauer, The Griffin, German, c. 1450 - 1491, c. 1480/1490, engraving, Rosenwald Collection
The site is still being improved, so if you hate anything about it, please leave a comment (tip: you can turn off the auto-zoom). You may wish to look at the NGA's new "open access" policy for an explanation of why we've lost our minds and are giving away images for free. I also want to show you some theme galleries which feature works selected by a certain Pink Pony you may know (More to come! Just wait until you see the "monkeys and apes" gallery!).

Odilon Redon, Le Polype difforme flottait sur les rivages, sorte de cyclope souriant et hideux (The deformed polyp floated on the shores, a sort of smiling and hideous Cyclops), French, 1840 - 1916, 1883, lithograph, Rosenwald Collection

Have at it!


The Cat's Meow said...

That is pretty neat! I played around with a couple of "frequently requested" images just to get a feel for it. I'm not sure I understand the "Lightbox" feature. Any advice?

Peteykins said...

Yes, you can hit the leftmost icon under an image to add it to your lightbox at the bottom of the page. That way you can save a selection of favorites for later perusal (if you're registered) or download.

Anonymous said...

UnglaĆ¼blich! This is like iStockphoto with really good art! And free!! And the Odilon Redon lithograph was just used on the spiffing new Magazine Album of last year, "No Thyself."

Peteykins said...

I guess I missed that Magazine album!

But here's what's truly surprising: even use on commercial products like album and book covers are covered by our "open access" policy. That's practically unheard of in the museum world.

The Cat's Meow said...

They just ask that you include that "Courtesy of" line if you use them. Seems pretty painless!

Angry Parakeet said...

What an enjoyable beginning to the weekend, such a treat. Thanks NGA and you.

Cathie Carroll said...

I'm planning to etch some images this weekend and this is an entirely new trove to explore and manipulate!

Thank you so much!

samael7 said...

I can't remember where, but the A Marmot with a Branch of Plums was recently referenced in a joke someone was telling me, but I totally thought it was a made up part of the joke.

Someone knows their art humor!