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Free-Use: The Met's Artworks


The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced (on February 7, 2017) that all images of public-domain artworks in the Museum's collection are now available for free and unrestricted use. This updated policy, known as Open Access, utilizes the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) designation. This policy change is an update to The Museum’s 2014 Open Access for Scholarly Content (OASC) initiative. The Met’s Open Access policy facilitates the use of more than 375,000 images of public-domain artworks for both scholarly and commercial purposes. The Museum is collaborating with global partners to enable greater access to the collection.

“Sharing is fundamental to how we promote discovery, innovation, and collaboration in the digital age,” said Ryan Merkley, CEO, Creative Commons. “Today, The Met has given the world a profound gift in service of its mission: the largest encyclopedic art museum in North America has eliminated the barriers that would otherwise prohibit access to its content, and invited the world to use, remix, and share their public-domain collections widely and without restriction. This is an enormous gift to the world, and it is an act of significant leadership on the part of the institution. I want to congratulate Thomas P. Campbell, the board of trustees, and The Met staff for making such a strong commitment to collaboration and sharing, and I hope that other institutions, both public and private, will follow the path they are setting out here today."

I went online and searched for artwork of "people sewing" and found a few to share here:

“Young Mother Sewing” by Mary Cassatt (American, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1844–1926 Le Mesnil-Théribus, Oise) via The Metropolitan Museum of Art is licensed under CC0 1.0

“Pierre Auguste Renoir - Young Woman Sewing” by Irina is licensed under CC BY 2.0


“The Artist's Mother Sewing” by Umberto Boccioni (Italian, Reggio 1882–1916 Sorte) via The Metropolitan Museum of Art is licensed under CC0 1.0

“Young Man Sewing” via The Metropolitan Museum of Art is licensed under CC0 1.0

“Miss Mary Douglas Scott Sewing (from Switzerland 1870 Sketchbook)” byJohn Singer Sargent (American, Florence 1856–1925 London) via The Metropolitan Museum of Art is licensed under CC0 1.0

“Ewald Honnef - Children Sewing” by Irina is licensed under CC BY 2.0

“Sewing by Lamplight” by After Jean-François Millet (French, Gruchy 1814–1875 Barbizon), Engraved by Paul-Edme Le Rat (French, Paris 1849–1892 Paris) via The Metropolitan Museum of Art is licensed under CC0 1.0


“Girl Sewing by Lamplight” by Engraved by Timothy Cole (American, London 1852–1931 Poughkeepsie, New York), After Jean-François Millet (French, Gruchy 1814–1875 Barbizon) via The Metropolitan Museum of Art is licensed under CC0 1.0

“Two Women Sewing, Plate 1 from Five Feminine Occupations” by Geertruydt Roghman (Dutch, Amsterdam 1625–1651/57 Amsterdam (?)), Covens et Mortier (Dutch, 17th century) via The Metropolitan Museum of Art is licensed under CC0 1.0

“The Sewing Circle” by derrypubliclibrary is licensed under CC BY 2.0

I did other searches, too. Next up, I'll be sharing some Quilt Pattern inspirations. I enjoyed doing these searches and must tell you that it is easy to get distracted looking through hundreds of images. Sincere thanks to The Metropolitan Museum of Arts for this special gift for all of us!

From their website: "Images of Artworks in the Public Domain: You are welcome to use images of artworks in The Met's collection that the Museum believes to be in the public domain, or those to which the Museum waives any copyright it might have, for any purpose, including commercial and noncommercial use, free of charge and without requiring permission from the Museum."

Do you have a favorite work of art?

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