Get Free Public Domain Images from Museums Around the World

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Public Domain Images from Museums

If you're looking for good quality images that are free to use and in the public domain, this is a good round-up of museums and archives that have released images with no restrictions on use.

Museums are increasingly digitizing their collections and making them available for anyone to download. Many are high resolution images and all are in the public domain and free to use for personal or commercial projects. These museums around the world have images from collections that you can download for free. The museums do their best to make sure an image is in the public domain, but it's a good idea to check the license of any image that's downloaded.

Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Illinois
50,000+ of works in the digital collection. Search or browse these categories: Cityscapes, Impressionism, Animals, Essentials, African Diaspora, Fashion, Chigago, Pop Art and Mythology.

Belvedere, Vienna, Amsterdam
As the first art museum in Austria, the Belvedere is committed to an Open Content Policy for images of art works no longer protected by copyright. These images are made available in print quality and free of charge. 

Birmingham Museums Trust, Birmingham, England
Over 3500 of the 800,00 objects from the Museums Trust's nine venues are now available as free digital images, with more being added every week.

Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland Ohio
The public now has the ability to  share, collaborate, remix, and reuse images of many as 35,000 public-domain artworks from the CMA’s world-renowned collection of art, including 3D images of public domains artworks from its collection..

Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge MA
Harvard Digital Collections provides free, public access to over 6 million objects digitized from their collections - from ancient art to modern manuscripts and audio visual materials. Get a closer look at Harvard's digital collections using CURIOsity's curated views and specialized search options.

J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA
There are over 100,000 images from the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Getty Research Institute available through the Open Content Program. Images include paintings, drawings, manuscripts, photographs, antiquities, sculpture, decorative arts, artists' sketchbooks, watercolors, rare prints from the 16th through the 18th century, and 19th-century architectural drawings of cultural landmarks.

Kunstmuseum Basel, Basel Switzerland
The Kunstmuseum Basel houses the largest and most significant public art collection in Switzerland, and is listed as a heritage site of national significance. The Kunstmuseum Basel’s Collection Online website provides over 4,100 photographs for download

Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
The Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Online Catalog contains more than 1.2 millions photographs, fine and popular prints and drawings, posters, and architectural and engineering drawings from the national archives.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles California
The LACMA art museum has digitized 20,000 images of free downloadable art from their collection.

Mauritshuis, The Hague
All the works of art of the Mauritshuis collection are now online. Most of the collection has been photographed in high resolution, allowing you to zoom in to the smallest details.

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Browse more than 406,000 hi-res images of public-domain works in The Met collection that can be downloaded, shared, and remixed without restriction.

Munch Museet, Oslo, Norway
Munchmuseet is dedicated to the life and works of the Norwegian artist Edvard Munch. There are 1,000+ paintings and 15,000+ prints available to download for free.

Minneapolis Institute of Art
The mission of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts includes making the outstanding works of art in its collections accessible to a global audience. The collection contains over 50,000 works in the Public Domain that can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington, New Zealand
The online collections has artwork, objects, and specimens from Te Papa’s collections. Collection areas cover Taonga Māori, Pacific Cultures, New Zealand History, Photography, Art, Botany and Zoology. Over 60,000 images are available for high-resolution download.

National Gallery in Prague, Czech Republic
The Czech Republic’s national collections in Prague currently has 1983 images free to download. To download an image, select the image and click on the shopping cart icon at the top of the page, then choose whether you're using the image for private, publication or commercial purpose and then click download to start the image download.

National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
More than 51,000 open access digital images including work by Van Gogh, Gauguin, Rembrandt and more are available free of charge for download and use.

Nationalmuseet, Copenhagen, Denmark
The National Museum of Denmark (Nationalmuseet) in Copenhagen. The museum covers 14,000 years of Danish history, from the reindeer-hunters of the Ice Age, Vikings, and works of religious art from the Middle Ages.

Nationalmuseum, Stockholm
6000 high resolution images of the most popular paintings in the museum’s collections are available for direct download at Wikimedia Commons..

New York Public Library, New York
Explore 884,351 items digitized from The New York Public Library's collections featuring prints, photographs, maps, manuscripts, streaming video, and more.

Paris Musées
Paris Musées, a group of 14 public museums in Paris (including Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Petit Palais, and the Catacombs) released 150,000 high resolution images that are in the public domain. Photos, paintings, scientific instruments and costumes are among the images.

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Rijksmuseum Digitizes has digitized 600,000+  images and includes paintings from Rembrandt and Vermeer  includes photographs of historical furniture, interiors, applied arts, and fashion, and a large collection of ceramic objects.

Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.
Smithsonian Open Access has nearly 3 million 2D and 3D digital items from our collections—with many more to come. This includes images and data from across the Smithsonian’s 19 museums, nine research centers, libraries, archives, and the National Zoo. Throughout the rest of 2020, the Smithsonian will be rolling out another 200,000 or so images, with more to come as the Institution continues to digitize its collection of 155 million items and counting.

Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich, Germany
The Lenbachhaus collects, conserves, studies, and presents the art of the nineteenth century, the Blauer Reiter, the New Objectivity, as well as international contemporary art. They are digitizing their 35,000 works of art.

Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen
SMK in Copenhagen is a collection of Danish art. Approximately 40.000 artworks have been photographed, 15,000 in high resolution free for download and use.

Wellcome Collection, London
Thousands of freely licensed digital books, artworks, photos and images of historical library materials and museum objects.Thousands of archival images from the science collections at the museum and library

Yale University
Thousands of images of works in the Gallery’s collection believed to be in the public domain are available for free download through the Gallery’s website. Apparel, architecture, calligraphy, hardware, tools and equipment, works on paper and many more categories have downloadable images.

(h/t @estherschindler)

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Comments

Thanks for yet another great find-and-share, @Rhiannon. (Having learned my lesson yesterday: No further comment. ;-| )

No worries the divorce lawyer is out of the picture. :)
Usually when anyone says something didn't work, I go back and do what it was I did and wrote about. I do that to make sure I didn't make a mistake or miss something. Then I say what I did - this and this and this so if it's different or I messed up it can be worked out. I'll help if I can, and I'm grateful when someone points something out or catches an error I've made.