A Selection from The MET’s Public Domain Collection, Now Free from All Restrictions
Ever since The Public Domain Review began we’ve long harboured fantasies about the Metropolitan Museum joining the growing ranks of those institutions (The Getty, New York Public Library, and Rijksmuseum, among others) who have opened up their digital copies of public domain works, making them free from all restrictions on use. Now, after a statement made last week, The MET have done just that — making all digital copies of their incredible public domain collection available under a CC0 license and in high resolution. While included in the vast lot of more than 200,000 images is a wonderful selection of the well known — Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Monet, etc. — we present here our highlights from the perhaps lesser known corners (though we couldn’t resist sneaking in a Paul Klee). This is the product of a casual morning’s browse in which we could only get through the first 6,000 — that’s not even 3% — so we highly encourage you to jump in yourselves and make use of their slick and very comprehensive filtering system. And if that wasn’t enough, many of the pieces are accompanied by curatorial commentary offering the stories behind the works. Treasures await!
In this section of the site we bring you curated collections of images, books, audio and film, shining a light on curiosities and wonders from a wide range of online archives. With a leaning toward the surprising, the strange, and the beautiful, we hope to provide an ever-growing cabinet of curiosities for the digital age, a kind of hyperlinked Wunderkammer – an archive of materials which truly celebrates the breadth and variety of our shared cultural commons and the minds that have made it. Some of our most popular posts include visions of the future from late 19th century France, a dictionary of Victorian slang and a film showing the very talented “hand-farting” farmer of Michigan. With each post including links back to the original source we encourage you to explore these wonderful online sources for yourself. Check out our Sources page to see where we find the content.