The National Gallery of Art announces the launch today of NGA Images, a new online resource that revolutionizes the way the public may interact with its world-class collection at http://images.nga.gov. This repository of digital images documenting the National Gallery of Art collections allows users to search, browse, share, and download images believed to be in the public domain.
As the Gallery marks its 71st anniversary, it is fitting that we introduce NGA Images and an accompanying open access policy, which underscore the Gallery’s mission and national role in making its collection images and information available to scholars, educators, and the general public, said Earl A. Powell III, director, National Gallery of Art. In turn this supports research, teaching, and personal enrichment; promotes interdisciplinary research; and nurtures an appreciation of all that inspires great works of art.
Many of the open access images have been digitized with the generous support of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.
The National Gallery’s collection, which includes major works by European and American artists, traces the development of Western art from the Middle Ages to the present. The NGA Images Database offers more than 20,000 high-quality (up to 3,000-pixel) digital images available free for download and use, along with a standards-based reproduction guide and a help section provide advice for both novices and experts.
Users may browse the collections or search them by keyword and the Advanced Search Interface. Users may also create, label, and take notes in lightboxes or images sets,. Links to these lightboxes can be shared via e-mail or may be copied and pasted in social media sites. Anyone may browse and download NGA Images freely, but registered users can take advantage of lightboxes (very useful for lesson planning!) and their sharing features.
Registration is also required to fulfill certain image requests, including direct downloads of reproduction-ready images.
NGA Images’ new open access policy for digital images of art that believes to be in the public domain encourages free download of these images without authorization for both commercial or non-commercial use.
The Gallery’s open access policy is a natural extension of its mission to serve the United States of America by preserving, collecting, exhibiting, and fostering the understanding of works of art at the highest possible museum and scholarly standards. In applying the policy in a global digital environment, the Gallery also expands and enhances its educational and scholarly outreach. The Gallery believes that increased access to high-quality images of its works of art fuels knowledge, scholarship, and innovation, inspiring uses that continually transform the way we see and understand the world of art.
Thanks again to Gary Price of INFOdocket for this lead.