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Art: Finding Images

Basic search tips and strategies for art students

Locating Images Online

Listed below are links to a variety of websites to find art images around the world.

  • The Smithsonian Institution Libraries’ New Media Office provides reproductions from preexisting digital files or new digital photography of material from its collections to students, academics and creative professionals in publishing, design, broadcast and other media.  
  • The World Digital Library (WDL) is a project of the U.S. Library of Congress, carried out with the support of the United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO), and in cooperation with libraries, archives, museums, educational institutions, and international organizations from around the world. The WDL makes available on the Internet, free of charge and in multilingual format, significant primary materials from all countries and cultures.

  • Google Arts & Culture features content from over 1000 leading museums and archives who have partnered with the Google Cultural Institute to bring the world's treasures online.

  • Life Magazine Photography Archive.  View images from the many years of publications.

  • Visual Arts Data Service (VADS)  is an online resource for visual arts. It has provided services to the academic community for 12 years and has built up a considerable portfolio of visual art collections comprising over 100,000 images that are freely available and copyright cleared for use in learning, teaching and research in the UK.

  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art Timeline of Art History presents a chronological, geographical, and thematic exploration of global art history through The Met collection. It is a reference, research, and teaching tool conceived for students and scholars of art history. It is authored by The Met’s experts, and comprises 300 chronologies and close to 1,000 essays and more than 7,000 works of art. It is regularly updated and enriched to provide new scholarship and insights on the collection.

  • MoMA--The Museum of Modern Art has viewable images of their collection.

  • New York Public Library Digital Collections is a database with new materials added every day, featuring prints, photographs, maps, manuscripts, streaming video, and more.

  • accessCeramics is a growing collection of contemporary ceramics images by recognized artists enhancing ceramics education worldwide.

  • National Gallery (UK) The National Gallery houses the national collection of paintings in the Western European tradition from the 13th to the 19th centuries.

  • The Bridge Club The Bridge Club is a contemporary visual and performance art collaborative consisting of artists Annie Strader, Christine Owen, Emily Bivens and Julie Wills. The Bridge Club’s interdisciplinary installation, video, live performance and digital media works are site- and context- specific, and each work investigates specific local histories, populations, contexts, stereotypes, expectations and conflicts.