Apparently this happened in 2017 but I only just found out. Anyone can now download images from over 400,000 Open Access (OASC) works of art at the New York Metropolitan Museum. You can use these images for commercial or non-commercial purposes.
This is fantastic. All this beautiful artwork can now be viewed and enjoyed by many more people around the world. I hope all the other museums will soon join The Met in making the part of their collection that’s in the public domain easily downloadable.
I believe it’s the goal of every creator to share their work as widely as possible. However, living creators need to support themselves, which is why it’s important to be able to copyright and protect your work.
But when works leave the public domain, it’s wonderful when ways are found to share these works widely. This is why I also love Project Gutenberg. From their site: “Project Gutenberg offers over 59,000 free eBooks. Choose among free epub and Kindle eBooks, download them or read them online. You will find the world's great literature here, with focus on older works for which U.S. copyright has expired. Thousands of volunteers digitized and diligently proofread the eBooks, for enjoyment and education.” https://www.gutenberg.org/
To start downloading magnificent art from The Met now, follow this link to learn how it works: https://www.metmuseum.org/about-the-met/policies-and-documents/image-resources/frequently-asked-questions
A short search led me to this lovely 1878 painting by French artist Jules-Joseph Lefebvre that I’ve never seen before, titled Graziella. If you don't like it, go find your own. Enjoy!