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Finding Images Online

Where to Find Images

Certain sites/organizations specifically facilitate reuse of their images.  Read the "terms and conditions" to make sure your reuse is covered. 

A number of museums make images from their collections available via Flickr Commons.

The Rijksmuseum has released approximately 100,000 images in its basic collection under a Creative Commons BY 3.0 licence (allowing sharing, remixing and commercial use). Keyword search or browse by ICONCLASS categories. Note that terms are case sensitive

Only those images displaying a "Download Images" tool are unrestricted.

Non-commercial use of text and images in which Brooklyn Museum holds the copyright is permitted, with attribution, under the terms and conditions of a Creative Commons License.

List compiled by the CAA focusing on sources of images for publication.

Smithsonian online collections rich in Asian Art are available for non-commercial use.

Open content images are indicated with a download icon.

provides high resolution images of its public domain works free of charge and for use without restriction. Look for the "Public Domain High Resolution Image Available" mark in its collection database.

makes a limited collection of images available for free to scholars publishing journal articles, small print-run publications, etc.

Lists a growing number of cultural institutions allowing open access to their images.

makes images for academic reproduction available free of charge

Thousands of images freely licensed under Creative Commons license.

Thousands of images of works in the Center’s collections in the Public Domain may be downloaded freely.

Museums may allow you to search some or all of their collections online. Image sizes and extent of description will vary from museum to museum. 

Search for museum websites and evaluate to determine if they provide searchable collections online or virtual exhibits. A website that compiles museum links is:

Below are selected museums with extensive online collections.

Use Search box or Advanced Search options, limit to objects with images online.

Use browse and search functions available

Atlas est une base qui permet de consulter l'ensemble des œuvres exposées dans le musée, soit près de 30000 oeuvres. (Interface is in French.) Try using "Recherche simple" for artist name.

Use search box or other options available

Use search boxes to "Search the Collection"

A high-quality collection of images that have been tagged with descriptive qualities like "hope," "nature," or death." Find an individual artwork and scroll down to EXPLORE at the bottom of the record to find links to other images, concepts or topics.

Following are sites that compile images from various artists/eras/sources. These sites vary widely in content and degree of authority.

Over 10 million photos, published and unpublished

40,000 images

25,000 works, much contemporary art; images not downloadable

Primarily architecture and sculpture

30,000 works of art from 150 collections worldwide

Images from 18th-19th century books

Over 5 million images sourced from the Internet Archive. Via Flickr.

Pre-1900 continental European paintings in UK public collections

Images of posters, prints, photos, maps, etc.

195,000 images of Dutch and Flemish works of art from the 14th through the late 19th c.

Allows searches of 55 individual collections

Collection of documentary images reflecting the history and culture of health and medicine, circa. 1890-1930. High-resolution images have Creative Commons licenses.

80,000 images, global coverage, all areas of visual imagery

Reverse Image Searches

Reverse image serching allows you to upoad an image and retrieve other similar images. Use this technique to: 

  • Locate the source of an image
  • Find higher resolution versions
  • Discover webpages where the image appears
  • Track down the content creator
  • Get information about an image

Try are many systems that offer this service; here are two good ones

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 Generic License.