Finding Art Images : Open Access Images
Museums may allow you to search some or all of their collections online. Image sizes and extent of description will vary from museum to museum.
Search for museum websites and evaluate to determine if they provide searchable collections online or virtual exhibits. A website that compiles museum links is: http://www.artcyclopedia.com/museums.html
Below are selected museums with extensive online collections.
Image collections online
Following are sites that compile images from various artists/eras/sources. These sites vary widely in content and degree of authority.
Image vendors online
Companies that sell or license art reproductions can be good sources for visual browsing of works of art when they provide full scholarly descriptions of the works. Although the images are small, you may discover works you didn't know existed. With the descriptive information telling artist name, title, museum owner, etc., you have a factual start for further research on the object.
Content based image searches
Reverse image serching allows you to upoad an image and retrieve other similar images. Use this technique to:
- Locate the source of an image
- Find higher resolution versions
- Discover webpages where the image appears
- Track down the content creator
- Get information about an image
Try are many systems that offer this service; here are two good ones.
Over 1,000 digital repositories open their metadata for Open Archives Initiative harvesting. Search for images in the union catalog of these digital objects.
Lists of image-rich websites
Following are portal websites that provide lists of other websites. Browse the lists to identify sites containing art images.