Metropolitan Museum Art Available for Use by the Public
In 2017, the Metropolitan Museum has made 375,000 images available for use by the public without any restrictions.
It is part of its Open Access policy. It allows anyone to access and use the images for any purpose without needing to pay or ask permission.
Art itself can also serve a purpose and help with advertising and passing the message to the public.
“Increasing access to the collection has been a priority for over a decade,” Thomas P. Campbell, the museum’s director, said at a news conference. “Twenty years ago, as a scholar, we had to negotiate access even for catalog cards.”
The 375,000 images available represent “the main body of our collections,” Mr. Campbell said.
The Met is not the first museum to do this — other institutions to do so include the National Gallery of Art in Washington and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
The Met has teamed up with Creative Commons, Wikimedia, Artstor, Digital Public Library of America, Art Resource, and Pinterest to host and maximize the reach of their enormous collection. There is also a public GitHub repository of the images.