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National Gallery of Art Puts Its Collection of over 20,000 images online for FREE

The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., has launched NGA Images, reproducing its collection online for free.

 

The site includes more than 20,000 images, which means you could be looking at Camille Pissarro’s Self-Portrait right now, or Leonardo da Vinci’s Ginevra de’Benci, or even El Greco’s Laocoön (if you’re into that sort of thing), instead of reading this blog post.

The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., has launched a new online resource that will allow users to search, browse, share and download more than 20,000 images in the museum's collection.

The images, up to 3,000 pixels each, are being made available for download for free. NGA Images is easily accessible from the museum's main web site, and a reproduction guide is available for both novices and experts.

Once you've registered for an account, you can search the digital images by keyword or by browsing various collections, such as 19th-century French art or frequently requested artworks.

Users can also create image sets or "lightboxes" in order to save, share and download several images at one time. This also makes it possible for users to add their own notes to lightboxes or individual images, and links to users lightboxes may be shared with others.

The National Gallery's open access policy is an extension of the museum's mission of serving the U.S., according to a statement. It is also a way to extend its outreach to a worldwide community of art historians and scholars. This new digital resource "fuels knowledge, scholarship and innovation," according to a statement.

"As the Gallery marks its 71st anniversary, it is fitting that we introduce NGA Images and an accompanying open access policy, which underscore the (museum's) mission and national role in making its collection images and information available to scholars, educators, and the general public," said Earl A. Powell III, director, National Gallery of Art. "In turn this supports research, teaching, and personal enrichment; promotes interdisciplinary research; and nurtures an appreciation of all that inspires great works of art."

Image: One of the more beloved works of art in the National Gallery of Art's collection, "Little Girl in a Blue Armchair," by Mary Cassatt, 1878, oil on canvas. Courtesy of the National Gallery of Art.

Earl A. Powell III, director of the National Gallery, said the site celebrates the Gallery’s 71st anniversary, and “supports research, teaching, and personal enrichment; promotes interdisciplinary research; and nurtures an appreciation of all that inspires great works of art.”
 

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