Skip to Main Content

Visual Arts: Open Access Art & Architecture Image Resources

Images for Academic Publishing

General Art and Architecture Image Databases

Art Images for College TeachingEmphasis on ancient, medieval, and Renaissance European art and architecture.  

Art Institute of Chicago.  Unrestricted access to tens of thousands of reproductions of artworks in the collection.

ARTstor Public Collections1.3 million images in the ARTstor database are openly available.

Balboa Park CommonsDigitized photos and artifacts from Mingei Museum, Museum of Photographic Arts, SD Air & Space Museum, SD Museum of Man, SD Natural History Museum, SD Museum of Art, and Timken Museum of Art.

Catalog of Art Museum Images Online (CAMIO). 95,000 rights cleared art museum images for educational use. Covers museums and cultures from around the world.

Cities and Buildings Database.  The Cities and Buildings Database is a collection of digitized images of buildings and cities drawn from across time and throughout the world, available to students, researchers and educators on the web.

Google Art Project. More than 45,000 high resolution images from over 151 museums in 40 different countries.

Getty's Research Image Viewer. A new way to view visual content from the Getty including Ed Ruscha's images.

Louvre Museum. 480,000 objects viewable online.

MAID: Museum of Modern Art Archives. 50,000+ images digitized from the MoMA Archives, including letters, drawings, photographs, exhibition installation views, scrapbook pages, newsclippings, etc.

The Metropolitan Museum of ArtMore than 440,000 works from the Met, unrestricted access to 375,000.

National Portrait Gallery, London.  87,000 free downloadable high resolution images for academic use.

Smithsonian Open Access. 2.8 two-dimensional and three-dimensional images available for download, share and re-use. 

Tin EyeReverse search engine that searches over 1.5 billion images. When you upload an image TinEye will provide information on other versions of that image that are available and the source of the image.

Wikimedia Commons.  Images included here are in the public domain and freely licensed for educational use.

World Images100,000 images. Grew out of California State University Image project.  All images are copyright cleared for Educational use.

Art and Architecture by Region

African Art

National Museum of African Art.  Search by artist, object, browse highlighted themes or exhibitions.

Asian Art and Architecture

The Huntington Archive. The archive of Buddhist and Asian Art contains nearly 300,000 original slides and photographs – photographic documentation of art and architecture throughout Asia. Includes videos and online exhibitions.

Asian Historical Architecture.  A photographic survey of Asia's architectural heritage with over 15,000 photos of 791 sites in twenty-one countries, background information and virtual tours.

Digital South Asia Library. The images fall into the broad categories of architecture, sculpture, terracotta, painting and numismatics.

European Art and Architecture

Europeana. Over 2,000 European institutions participating. Millions of items in an interface that can be translated into more than 25 languages.

Paris Museums.  100,000 digital images of objects in the museums of Paris.

Rijks Studio (Rijksmuseum).  125,000 works from the Museum’s Collection. Allows viewers to download any of these images in high resolution format and copyright free.

Mapping Gothic France.  A database of images, texts, charts and historical maps.

Bildindex der Kunst und Architektur. Contains over 2 million images of art and architecture in over 13 countries.

RIBApix.  Images from the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Islamic Art and Architecture

Casselman Archive of Islamic and Mudejar Architecture in Spain.  This collection contains over four thousand color slides and black and white photographs of medieval Spain.

ArchNet.  An international online community for architects, planners, urban designers, landscape architects, conservationists, and scholars, with a focus on Muslim cultures and civilisations.

Aga Khan Visual ArchiveOver 120,000 slides and digital images of architecture, urbanism, and the built environment in the Islamic world

Khamseen: Islamic Art History Online. Online platform of digital resources to aid the teaching of Islamic art, architecture, and visual culture sponsored by the Digital Islamic Studies Curriculum (DISC) at the University of Michigan.

Latin American/Mesoamerican Art and Architecture

Virtual Mesoamerican Archive. A portal site designed to offer alternative to Google, which will produce more than a million and a half search results.