Monday, August 12, 2013

Introducing the Getty Museum's Open Content Program

by Gregg Chadwick

Unknown maker, French (photographer) , Polyorama Panoptique Lorchette Enchantée, French, about 1855, Lithograph, colored, Image: 8.3 x 16.5 cm (3 1/4 x 6 1/2 in.)
Digital image courtesy of the Getty's Open Content Program

The Getty Museum in Los Angeles is making available, without charge, all available digital images to which the Getty holds rights or that are in the public domain. These images may  be used for any purpose. No permission is required. As an artist I am excited to delve into the Getty's rich collection in search of inspiration. In our litigious and money conscious world, it is refreshing that the Getty Museum and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam are putting creativity and scholarship above image control and profit.

Download free images of artworks in the Getty Museum's collection at Open Content Images. 

"Why open content? Why now? The Getty was founded on the conviction that understanding art makes the world a better place, and sharing our digital resources is the natural extension of that belief. This move is also an educational imperative. Artists, students, teachers, writers, and countless others rely on artwork images to learn, tell stories, exchange ideas, and feed their own creativity. In its discussion of open content, the most recent Horizon Report, Museum Edition stated that 'it is now the mark—and social responsibility—of world-class institutions to develop and share free cultural and educational resources.' I agree wholeheartedly." 
- Getty CEO James Cuno in The Getty Iris 

Info from the Getty Museum on Open Content:

Why Open Content?

The Getty adopted the Open Content Program because we recognized the need to share images of works of art in an unrestricted manner, freely, so that all those who create or appreciate art—scholars, artists, art lovers, and entrepreneurs—will have greater access to high-quality digital images for their studies and projects. Art inspires us, and imagination and creativity lead to artistic expressions that expand knowledge and understanding. The Getty sincerely hopes that people will use the open content images for a wide range of activities and that they will share the fruits of their labors with others.
Access to Open Content Images

Initially, the images available through the Open Content Program are of works in the J. Paul Getty Museum's collections. Over time, images from the Getty Research Institute and the Getty Conservation Institute will be added. Museum images can be found on the Museum's Collection webpages or on the Getty Search Gateway. Those available as open content images are identified with a "Download" link. Images provided are JPEG files at a minimum of 300 DPI. See the Guidelines for Successful Printing (PDF) for more information on file format

If you need new photography, resizing, or color correction, you can request those services by Contacting Museum Rights & Reproductions. A fee (PDF)will be charged for this service.
Public Domain and Rights

Open content images are digital surrogates of works of art that are in the Getty's collections and in the public domain, for which we hold all rights, or for which we are not aware of any rights restrictions. Rights restrictions are based on copyright, trademark, privacy and publicity laws, and contractual obligations. If an image you want is not designated as an open content image, it is because one or more of the above identified legal rights restricts our ability to make that content available under this program. While the Getty reviews the metadata about each picture before making it available as an open content image, there may be some underlying rights that were unknown to us. For that reason, we strongly recommend that users consider the possibility that rights of third parties may be involved, and permission for those rights may need to be obtained by the user for the proposed use.
Fair Use

Open content images can be used for any purpose without first seeking permission from the Getty. Images of many other works in the collections are also on our website in varying formats. The Getty supports fair use of images when the applicable legal criteria are met. For more information on use of digital images of works in the Getty's collections, please refer to the Getty'sTerms of Use.
Hippolyte Bayard (photographer) [French, 1801 - 1887]
Arrangement of Specimens
27.7 x 21.6 cm (10 15/16 x 8 1/2 in.) Cyanotype [Direct Negative]  about 1842
Digital image courtesy of the Getty's Open Content Program

Attribution to the Getty

Please use the following source credit when reproducing an image:
Digital image courtesy of the Getty's Open Content Program.
When using open content images, you should not suggest or imply that the Getty endorses, approves of, or participated in your projects.
Publications Using Open Content Images

While there are no restrictions or conditions on the use of open content images, the Getty would appreciate a gratis copy of any scholarly publications in which the images are reproduced in order to maintain the collection bibliography. Copies may be sent to the attention of:
Open Content Program
Registrar's Office
The J. Paul Getty Museum
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1000
Los Angeles, CA 90049
Frequently Asked Questions

Get answers to frequently asked questions about the Getty's Open Content Program.
Learn more about our Open Content Program: 

Love art? Follow the Getty on Google+ to stay in touch:

Banner image, clockwise from left: Irises (detail), 1889, Vincent van Gogh. Oil on canvas, 28 x 36 5/8 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 90.PA.20; Mixing Vessel with Apollo and Artemis(detail), about 415–400 B.C., attributed to the Palermo Painter. Greek, made in Lucania, South Italy. Terracotta, 22 1/16 x 13 3/8 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 85.AE.101;Decorated Initial O (detail) in the Stammheim Missal, about 1170s, unknown illuminator. German, made in Hildesheim. Tempera colors, gold leaf, and silver leaf on parchment, 11 1/8 x 7 7/16 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. 64, fol. 154v (97.MG.21.fol. 154v)

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