The Broad is a contemporary art museum that named after their founders, philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad. It is home to 2,000 works of art collected over 50 years by Eli and Edythe. The collection is one of the world’s most prominent collections of post-war and contemporary works of art. They include in-depth representations by influential contemporary artists, which include Jeff Koons, Ed Ruscha, Kara Walker and Alexander Calder. You can browse the collection by artist last name.
This site features visual mash-ups, mosaics, blends and collages created by QThomasBower. As of September 2015, there are about 400 works uploaded.
The LIFE Photo Archive is a comprehensive archive of photographs and etchings that are produced or owned by the defunct LIFE Magazine, dating back to the 1750s. Captured by LIFE photographers and photo journalists like Alfred Eisenstaedt and Margaret Bourke-White, the photographs documented important events in the world, evolution of fashion and lifestyles and the lives of celebrities and everyday people. According to Google, most of the photographs have never been published. Started in 2008, users can search for millions of images from the LIFE archive, which contains about 10 million photographs. Users can do a keyword search by adding “source:life” to any Google image search. For example, “vietnam war source:life”. Alternatively, users may browse by different categories.
A division of the Fashion Institute of Technology, the Museum at FIT (MFIT) is one of the specialised fashion museums accredited by the American Alliance of Museum. The museum’s permanent collection contains about 50,000 garments and accessories from the 18th century to present. The works include pertinent designers such as Chanel, Dior and Balenciaga. Users can search or browse by time periods and types.
The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) is among the largest museums in Canada. To date, there are about 41,000 works in their holdings. Their collections are distributed across six sections: Archaeology and World Cultures, Early to Modern International Art, Quebec and Canadian Art, International Contemporary Art, Decorative Arts and Design, and Graphic Arts and Photography. Users can search or browse images by the different sections.
Display is “a curated collection of important modern, mid 20th century graphic design books, periodicals, advertisements and ephemera”. Developed by Kind Company, a web and print design agency based in New York, the intention was to spread awareness of Graphic Design as “a source of educational, historical and scholarly analysis for teachers, students, designers and independent researchers”. Images from Display are digitised from original items within the collection.
The Wallace Collection is a national museum in London that houses works of art collected in the 18th and 19th centuries by the first four Marquesses of Hertford and Sir Richard Wallace, the son of the 4th Marquess. Through Wallace Live, users can search for images of the works of art.
This collection was started as part of the “All Of Us Or None” (AOUON) archive project by Free Speech Movement activist Michael Rossman in 1977. The objective was “to gather and document posters of modern progressive movements in the United States”. The collection contains more than 20,000 political posters with a focus on “the domestic political poster renaissance that began in 1965 and continues to this day”. Users can search or browse the images.
Herman Miller is an American furniture design firm and among the first to produce modern furniture. Working together with designers George Nelson and Charles and Ray Eames, the company produced some of the classics in industrial design. Their website provides a library of images, which contains Herman Miller’s white sweep environments, and detailed product photography and renderings. Users can search or browse by different categories. The website also provides other design resources, such as materials, 3D renderings and product downloads.
According to their Annual Report 2014, the Philadelphia Museum of Art contains about 227,000 works of art in their collections. More than 100,000 images are made available through their digital collection. Users can search by keywords, artist, country of work and curatorial departments.
The Cleveland Museum of Art houses close to 45,000 objects that span across 6,000 years. Their online collection provides access to close to 34,800 images. Users can search or browse by various collections, creators and types.
Founded in 1965, the Israel Museum is “the largest cultural institution in the State of Israel”. They houses encyclopaedic collections, ranging from pre-history to the present day in archaelogy, fine arts and Jewish art. Their digital image database, IMAGINE, allows users to search and browse the collections by exhibitions, collections or departments.
The Whitney Museum of American Art houses a comprehensive range of “twentieth-century and contemporary American art, with a special focus on works by living artists”. Their digital collection provides access to more than 21,000 artworks from more than 3,000 artists. Users can search or browse by artist.
VADS is an “online resource for visual arts”. Over 12 years, VADS built a portfolio of visual art collections, which comprise of “over 100,000 images that are freely available and copyright cleared for use in learning, teaching and research in the UK”. These collections were contributed by various institutions in the UK. Through the site, users can search or browse by collections and themes. VADS also provides a series of resources that were built around the image collections by “specialist authors and lecturers”.
This database offers access to high resolution images from the Folger Shakespeare Library, including books, theater memorabilia, manuscripts, and art. It is a good resource to explore more about the culture, people, art, costumes and fashion design during (or under the influence) of William Shakespeare (1564-1616). To date, the database contains more than 90,000 images. Users can show multiple images side-by-side, zoom in and out, view cataloging information when available, export thumbnails in various sizes, and construct persistent URLs linking back to items or searches.
Since its founding in 1940, the Walker Art Center has collected the visual, performing, and media arts of our time. Their digital collection contains more than 4,000 images. Users can search or browse by period and type. Walker Art Center also has a Living Collection Catalogue that is an online serial dedicated to scholarly research of their multidisciplinary collections. The catalogue contains media-rich essays on broader themes as well as in-depth investigations of specific works of art.
The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco houses more than 18,000 objects ranging from “tiny jades to monumental sculptures”. From the “earliest dated Chinese Buddha image to the contemporary works”, their collections span across different cultures, dynasties, religions and geographies over 6,000 years. The museum provides more than 12,000 images in their online collection. Users can search or browse the collections by the different types of art.
The Art Institute of Chicago was founded as both a museum and school for fine arts around 1879. Today, it houses more than 300,000 works of art in their permanent collections, ranging from “Chinese bronzes to contemporary design and from textiles to installation art”. The digital collection contains more than 80,000 images, where you can search or browse by categories. The website also allows you to sign up for an account and make your own art collections by selecting artworks and adding notes about them. You can save your “collections” to revisit in the future or share them with your friends.
One of the oldest galleries in Australia, the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) houses more than 70,000 works of art. Their digital collection contains close to 59,000 images of Australian and international works of art. Users may search or browse by the different collection areas.
Wellcome Images is one of the visual collections of the Wellcome Library. It contains themes ranging “from medical and social history to contemporary healthcare and science”. To date, there are close to 130,000 images across different themes.