Visualization Lab for Digital Art History
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Christopher Dresser Bottle, 19th C., English, Bone china, New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art
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Anne-Louis Girodet-Trioson Study for "Portrait of an Indian" (detail), 19th C., French, Oil on canvas, New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art
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Paul Cézanne Still Life with Apples and Pears (detail), 1885-87, French, Oil on canvas, New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art
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Byzantine Medallion from an Icon Frame, 11th-12th C., Cloisonné enamel, gold, New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art
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Jackson Pollock Number 8 (detail), 1949, American, Oil, enamel, and aluminum paint on canvas
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Carlo Crivelli Pietà (detail), 1476, Italian, Tempera on wood, gold ground, New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art


Copyright for Use in Instruction and Publications

Instructional Use

Collection images in ARTstor are available to members of the UC Berkeley community for noncommercial, educational use (instruction, study, research). These uses include class assignments/projects, display on computer monitors, and classroom projection. 

Educational use for other image sources may also fall within the guidelines of educational fair use. Fair use is a legal doctrine that allows for limited uses of copyrighted works without first having to acquire permission. Fair use is not always easy to interpret, so please consult the following sources in the ‘copyright policies and tools’ section below and to determine fair use in your particular case.


Use in Publications

The majority of the materials in the V-Lab collection are copyrighted and may not be reproduced for publication (including electronic or print publications), public websites, exhibitions, or broadcasts. Permission to reproduce part or all of these images must be requested from the rights owner in advance. 

Permission for use of museum images can often be requested through the Rights and Reproductions department of a museum. You may also consult the sources below under the “Image Sources and Rights Clearance Agencies” section to obtain rights to publish a copyrighted image.

Copyright Policies and Tools

Image Sources and Rights Clearance Agencies

Free Images for Academic Use

The following sites contain images either in the public domain, or approved for educational use and scholarly publication. Also see the College Art Association website of image sources and rights clearance agencies and our Digital Resources Guide for a more complete list.

  • British Museum, London  High-resolution images for educational use and academic publications may be downloaded for free.
  • Flickr Commons Various cultural institutions have contributed content to the Flickr online photo management system. Contributors include: The Library of Congress; The Smithsonian; George Eastman House; Brooklyn Museum; Getty Research Institute; New York Public Library, and dozens more. Images in Flickr Commons have “no known copyright restrictions”.
  • Images for Academic Publishing (IAP) | ARTstor  Search on the ARTstor website with the search term IAP to find publication-quality images for use in scholarly publications free of charge. Click on the IAP icon to begin the download process of a high-resolution, publication-quality image. Participating institutions include The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Princeton University Art Gallery, Yale University Art Gallery, Dallas Museum of Art, and the Indianapolis Museum of Art, among others.
  • Getty ‘Open Content’ Program The open content images from the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Getty Research Institute’s collections are of works of art believed to be in the public domain and are available for free and without restriction.
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) The content on the site marked “Public Domain High Resolution Image Available” consists of images of works from LACMA’s permanent collections that are in the public domain. LACMA is providing high resolution images of these works free of charge and for use without restriction.
  • National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. Thousands of public domain works are now available free of charge for any use, commercial or non-commercial. Users do not need to contact the Gallery for authorization to use these images. Search on the ‘open access available’ images.
  • New York Public Library High-resolution downloads for their public domain content for use without restrictions.
  • Rijksmuseum Public domain images in Rijksstudio may be downloaded for free from the relevant page. These jpeg images are 4500 x 4500 pixels on average.
  • Victoria and Albert Museum, London Over a million data records are searchable, although fewer images are available. Free high-resolution images available for educational use or academic publications.
  • Wikimedia Commons Wikimedia Commons is a media repository with millions of image, audio, and video files. All files are in the public domain and are freely available for educational use. The files are contributed by the general public, using the same Wiki-technology as Wikipedia.

Fee-based Image Banks

Fee-based agencies that will provide publishing rights for images still under copyright.

  • Art Resource Clearing house for the rights of major European an American museums, archives and collections.
  • Artists Rights Society (ARS) Clearing house for the rights of the many artists active in the 20th century.
  • Bridgeman Art Library Rights management for museum and public and private art collections.
  • Deutsches Archäologisches Institut (DAI) The Institute maintains libraries and photo archives of archeological sites.
  • Getty Images Rights-managed and royalty-free photo collections.
  • VAGA Representing visual artists’ copyrights worldwide (now under the aegis of ARS). 
  • WATCH File Database of copyright contacts for writers, artists, and prominent figures in other creative fields.
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