Works that the museum – based in New York City – believe to be in the public domain will now be available online for unrestricted use, in partnership with sites like Pinterest and Wikimedia.
This is a huge contribution to, and from, the art world. These are images of things never before seen to those not lucky enough to have passed them in a museum. And at the Open Access site you can view them all.
The Met’s chief digital officer Loic Tallon was equally enthusiastic about the picture quality of the 200,000 works – a total of 375,000 images at 4,000 pixels wide. Speaking at a press conference, Tallon said the zoom feature will allow users to “really see the beauty of the images”.
Campbell claims, with the digital move, the museum “now becomes the largest and most diverse open-access museum collection in the world.”
Museums like Copenhagen’s National Gallery of Denmark and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam already have their collections online in a similar way. According to Artnet, there are still around a million public domain works that are waiting to be digitised.