Kunstformen der Natur (or known in English as Art Forms in Nature) is a book of prints by German biologist, Ernst Haeckel. The geometric shapes and natural forms captured precisely by Haeckel continue to inspire artists and scientists. Via Wikimedia Commons, you may access more than 100 illustrations from the publication.
The National Gallery of Australia is one of the largest museums in the country. It houses more than 160,000 works of art in Australian art, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander art, Asian art, European and American art, Asian art and Pacific art. Users can conduct a keyword search or browse by the different categories.
Australian Prints + Printmaking provides “a gateway for information on printed images from Australia and the Asia Pacific region”. The site provides a database of prints and printmaking by artists from Australia and the pacific regions, including New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. The site also allows users to explore the collections through three experimental web interfaces, designed by Mitchell Whitelaw and Ben Ennis Butler. The interfaces are created as part of their research into ‘generous interfaces’ that attempt to provide new ways to explore digital collections. Users can search or browse by artists, subjects, works and networks, and decade summary.
Established in 1900, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) is one of the largest museums in the United States. The museum collection houses more than 65,000 works of art from antiquity to present day. Users can search by keywords or browse by collecting areas, artist/maker, culture, classification and artist nationality.
The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa is the national museum of New Zealand. Their collections online contain information of more than 500,000 works of art. Among them, more than 30000 have downloadable images for reuse in high resolution. Users can search by keywords.
Since mid 1700s, the Princeton University has been collecting art. To date, there are more than “92,000 works of art spanning the world of art from antiquity to the present”, as mentioned by James Christen Steward, the Director of the Princeton University Art Museum. Users can search or browse by different collections.
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.
Since 2013, British Library released more than 1 million images to Flickr Commons. The images were obtained from the Library’s digitised collection of 65,000 books of the 17th, 18th and 19th century. The release of these images indicates the Library’s desire “to improve knowledge of and about them, to enable novel and unexpected ways of using them, and to begin working with researchers to explore and interpret large scale digital collections”. The images are arranged by different themes, such as book covers, illustrated letters, maps, flora and children book illustrations.
Vintage Printable provides images that are believed to be on public domain or out of copyright. Most of the images are focused on vintage naturalist or scientific illustrations. Users can search or browse by different categories.
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 collection of Walters Art Museum contains thousands of art works from the third millennium B.C to the 20th century, ranging from mummies to arms and armor, from old master paintings to Art Nouveau jewelry around the globe and across ages. Through their online collections, users can search or browse images in several ways, which include category, date, creator, medium and tags. Users can also login using their Facebook account to create their own online collections.
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.
Callisphere is “the University of California’s free public gateway to a world of primary sources”. Powered by the California Digital Library (CDL), the platform currently have more than 230,000 images, contributed by 139 archives, libraries, museums, and historical societies in California. Users may search or explore the images across different themes or topics.
Developed by The Open Knowledge Foundation, The Public Domain Review is “an online journal and not-for-profit project dedicated to promoting and celebrating the public domain in all its richness and variety”, as according to the website. Images in their collections are derived from a wide range of online archives, that are on public domain. The images are arranged by topics, where users can search or browse by time, style, genre, type, content and rights.
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.
The Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery are the Smithsonian’s museums of Asian art. Together, both galleries holds “some of the most important holdings of Asian art in the world”, with Asian-inspired American art and contemporary art in Asia. More than 40,000 objects are available online. Users can search or browse by object type, topic, name, place and date.
Viintage Graphics is a “public domain image repository” that focuses on the term “vintage”. Through their website, users can browse the images by collections.