Met introduces new Open Access policy to make artworks freely available online

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has adopted a new digital policy – making all images of public-domain artworks in the New York institution’s collection available for free and unrestricted use.

Supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Open Access policy will facilitate more than 375,000 images of public-domain artworks for both scholarly and commercial purposes, with the museum planning to collaborate with global partners to enable greater access to its collection.

"We have been working toward the goal of sharing our images with the public for a number of years,” said Thomas P. Campbell, director and CEO of The Met.

“Our comprehensive and diverse museum collection spans 5,000 years of world culture and our core mission is to be open and accessible for all who wish to study and enjoy the works of art in our 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.”

As part of the new policy, the Met has partnered with Creative Commons, Wikimedia, Artstor, Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), Art Resource, and Pinterest, also welcoming Richard Knipel – its first wikimedian-in-residence. The new policy also utilises the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) designation, meaning it waives all copyrights and related or neighbouring rights that it may have in all jurisdictions worldwide.

"In our digital age, the museum's audience is not only the 6.7 million people who visited The Met's three locations in New York City this past year, but also the three-billion-plus internet-connected individuals around the world,” said Loic Tallon, chief digital officer for The Met.

“Adopting the CC0 designation for our images and data is one of the most effective ways the museum can help audiences gain access to the collection and further its use by educators and students, artists and designers, professionals and hobbyists, as well as creators of all kinds.”

Metropolitan Museum of Art  Met  art  galleries  visitor attractions  New York 
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The Metropolitan Museum of Art has adopted a new digital policy – making all images of public-domain artworks in the New York institution’s collection available for free and unrestricted use. Supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Open Access policy will facilitate more than 375,000 images of public-domain artworks for both scholarly and commercial purposes, with the museum planning to collaborate with global partners to enable greater access to its collection. "We
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Georges Seurat’s final study for his painting of Parisians at leisure on an island in the Seine is among the thousands of work now available / Bequest of Sam A. Lewisohn, 1951
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