Birds

Free Birds at The Met

The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met) has made 375,000 pieces of art, in its collection, available for use—without license.

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“A Partridge and Small Game Birds”. Jan Fyt (Flemish, 1611-1661) Oil on canvas. On view at The Met Fifth Avenue.

In a move to keep up with the digital age and increase access to art, The Met changed its policy to “Open Access”. An Open Access policy allows students, artists, hobbyists, (and bird nerds) to use, remix, and share the digitized version of The Met’s collection.

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“Hat”. Mlle. Louise. Ca. 1890. American. Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Bast fiber, cotton, birds, feathers.

In a statement, the Director and CEO of The Met said:

We have been working toward the goal of sharing our images with the public for a number of years. Our comprehensive and diverse museum collection spans 5,000 years of world culture and our core mission is to be open and accessible for all who wish to study and enjoy the works of art in our care…

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“Terracotta vase in the form of a bird”. Mid-7th century B.C. Protocorinthian. Greek. Terracotta. On view at The Met Firth Avenue.

Ryan Merkely, CEO of Creative Commons, the entity which The Met worked with to make these images available as Open Access said in the shared statement, “Sharing is fundamental to how we promote discovery, innovation, and collaboration in the digital age…”

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“Dish with long-tailed birds and hollyhock”. Yuan Dynasty (1271-1386). 14th Century. China. Carved red lacquer. On view at The Met Fifth Avenue.

The Open Access art collection is available online.

Featured image: “Birds” Kenneth Callahan. American. Ca. 1960. Ink on paper.

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