Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The Art Institute of Chicago Makes 50,000 High-Res Public Domain Images Available

A Sunday on La Grande Jatte — 1884. Georges Seurat. French, 1859-1891 (The Art Institute of Chicago)

The Art Institute of Chicago is one of the most popular art museums in the entire world. With its vast collection of masterpieces spread out though seemingly endless galleries, it warrants more visits than the average tourist will make.
As part of the ever evolving catalog of its collections, and the launch of a new website, the 119-year-old museum and art school has made available over 50,000 high-resolution images for download. Licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) designation, these images can be used and manipulated free of charge. 

Under the Wave off Kanagawa (Kanagawa oki nami ura), also known as the Great Wave, from the series "Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji (Fugaku sanjurokkei)" c. 1830/33. Katsushika Hokusai 葛飾 北斎 . Japanese, 1760-1849 (The Art Institute of Chicago)

Here is what is says on the website.

Open Access Images

The Art Institute of Chicago is pleased to offer free, unrestricted use of over 50,000 images of works in the collection believed to be in the public domain or to which the museum otherwise waives any copyright it might have. Such images are made available under Creative Commons Zero (CC0) designation and the Terms and Conditions of this website.

You are welcome to use any images with the label "CC0 Public Domain Designation" for any purpose, including commercial and noncommercial uses, free of charge and without additional permission from the museum. Although the museum is not aware of and does not believe that such images are subject to any copyright restrictions, it is the sole responsibility of the image user to identify and obtain any necessary third-party permissions, if any. The Art Institute of Chicago makes no representations or warranties of any kind concerning the images.

The museum requests that you include the following caption with reproductions of the images: Artist. Title, Date. The Art Institute of Chicago. This information, which is available on the object page for each work, is also made available under Creative Commons Zero (CC0).

Shower Below the Summit (Sanka hakuu), from the series "Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji (Fugaku sanjurokkei)"
c. 1830/33. Katsushika Hokusai 葛飾 北斎. Japanese, 1760-1849 (The Art Institute of Chicago)

In most countries that recognize copyright law the Berne Convention is used to establish ownership of works. Under the Berne Convention, which both the EU and the United States follow, most works are copyrighted to the original author until 50 years after their death. In some cases, including in The EU and U.S., that period has been extended to 70 years. Mexico has the longest term at 100 years after the author's death.

With that in mind, most of the works available are at least 70 years old, with many being centuries old. Fortunately this includes many fan favorites including Seurat's A Sunday on La Grande Jatte and a slew of Hokusai prints.

To access the downloadable images, navigate to, Filters, Public Domain. More filters can be applied to find exactly what you are looking for.

Paris Street; Rainy Day. 1877. Gustave Caillebotte. French, 1848-1894 (The Art Institute of Chicago)