The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City has just made over 375,000 of their artworks available in the public domain. This open access policy means that these historic masterpieces can be used under Creative Commons law commercially or otherwise for free.

The Met plans on further expanding worldwide access to the collection through partnerships with Wikimedia, Artstor, Digital Public Library of America, Art Resource, and Pinterest.

“In our digital age, the Museum’s audience is not only the 6.7 million people who visited The Met’s three locations in New York City this past year, but also the three-billion-plus internet-connected individuals around the world,” said Loic Tallon, The Met’s Chief Digital Officer. “Adopting the CC0 designation for our images and data is one of the most effective ways the Museum can help audiences gain access to the collection and further its use by educators and students, artists and designers, professionals and hobbyists, as well as creators of all kinds.”

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Some pieces may still be under restrictions due to their copyright status being unclear, but as the project continues, more clarification will be provided.

“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.”

You can find out more on using and finding Creative Commons and public domain images by visiting the Met’s instruction page located here.

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