Open Access Art and Images

W. Duke, Sons & Co. (New York and Durham, N.C.)
Card Number 25, Clara Davenport, from the Actors and Actresses series (N145-4) issued by Duke Sons & Co. to promote Cameo Cigarettes, 1880s
Albumen photograph; Sheet: 2 11/16 × 1 3/8 in. (6.8 × 3.5 cm)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Jefferson R. Burdick Collection, Gift of Jefferson R. Burdick (Burdick 208, N145-4.35)

The Met has opened up a digital archive of images of artwork and museum-quality pieces of history, giving them Creative Commons licenses, which means they can be copied and used freely.

Just browsing through the collection is fascinating, because it’s not just pictures of pictures.   The high quality images are snapshots of different places and times — including a woman’s earring from Byzantine Constantinople that doesn’t look all too different from modern jewelry.

“On February 7, 2017, The Metropolitan Museum of Art implemented a new policy known as Open Access, which makes images of artworks it believes to be in the public domain widely and freely available for unrestricted use, and at no cost, in accordance with the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) designation and the Terms and Conditions of this website.”

Have a browse.  [link]

This risque photo of across Clara Davenport from the 1880s is one sample — that also proves that in Victorian times, heavy thighs did not diminish beauty.  It’s a pity that Victorian standard died, along with fans, lace and furbelows.


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Tracy Cooper-Posey
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