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D. Hiden Ramsey Library, University of North Carolina at Asheville

Art: Images, Film, Audio

RESOURCES, including Books, Journals, Reference Materials, Film and Images related to the study of studio arts, art history, and crafts

NCLive Media Collection

Google Art Project


 "Using the same technology as Google Street View, where you can "walk" down real streets on screen thanks to its super-high-resolution photo-capturing technology, the Google Art Project took snapshots of 17 major museums across the world. The results are stunning."  The National


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Images - Start Here

  • Art Images for College Teaching  -  AICT is a free exchange (royalty free) of image resources for and among members of the educational community. Managed by MCAD the Minneapolis College of Art and Design supplementary textbook concordances are available to instructors. EXCELLENT.
  • ARTstor.  [REQUIRES LOG-IN] ARTstor Digital Library launched 162,000 new images this past year (2010).  It now shares 1,250,000 images in the United Sates and 1,040,000 images internationally with 1,300 institutions in 42 countries.  Relevant for study of architecture, painting, sculpture, photography, decorative arts, design and other forms of visual culture.  Users can search, view, and save images for scholarly use. from many time-periods and cultures.  Relevant for study of architecture, painting, sculpture, photography, decorative arts, design and other forms of visual culture.  Users can search, view, and save images for scholarly use.  "ARTstor in 3 Minutes" instructional video series available on YouTube. To receive ARTstor announcements via RSS, copy and paste the following URL into your RSS reader:
  • ART:21 - “Art:21–Art in the Twenty-First Century” is the only series on television to focus exclusively on contemporary visual art and artists in the United States, and it uses the medium of television to provide an experience of the visual arts that goes far beyond a gallery visit." Largely video, however, slide-show has over 1000 images of artists and their work.
  • CAMIO - Catalog of Art Museum Images Online.  [REQUIRES LOG-IN] Offers rights-cleared, high-quality art images for class projects, art history and studio art programs, course Web sites, lectures, presentations, and research resources.
  • Getty Images - Stock photography, much of it free of copyright restriction and useful in classroom or projects.  
  •  Harvard University Library - Visual Information Access  A comprehensive 20,000 image database,  most of which are unrestricted.

Images, Film, and Audio

Additional Sources                  

Image resources on the Web are extensive. Many of the sites also contain excellent documentation and refer the user to similar Web sites. Some of the more extensive image indexes and Web sites follow: 

Princeton Index of Christian Art  - Full electronic access as well as the complete hardcopy files are available at these locations: The Getty Center,  ; Utrecht University  ; Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana .  

New York Public Library, Mid-Manhattan Library, Picture Collection over 30,000 images of American history and life, New York City, costume, and other subjects. Images are generally derived from out-of-copyright books, magazines, newspapers, photographs, prints and postcards. Also see NYPL on Flicker

SIRIS Catalogs
Six catalogs from The Smithsonian Institution Resarch Information System (SIRIS) are available for searching from this one site. They include: Library Catalog; Art Inventories Catalog; Archives & Manuscripts Catalog; Juley Photographic Collection; Research/ Bibliographies Catalog; and the Smithsonian Chronology Catalog.  

FOLKSTREAMS - A National Preserve of Documentary Films about American Roots Cultures  streamed with essays about the traditions and filmmaking. The site includes transcriptions, study and teaching guides, suggested readings, and links to related websites. [Hosted by IBIBLIO]



Art on the Net
Not limited to visual arts.

David Rumsey Collection
Videos on the Web site are excerpted from feature length documentaries from the Art:21—Art in the Twenty-First Century television series. Allows free and subscription access to collections at multiple sites. Image quality is very high and includes Cornell University’s Political Americana collection as well as the selected permanent works of eight California museums contained in Museums & the Online Archive of California.  As a combined resource, this growing collective of arts and cultural heritage resources numbers more than 300,000 images.

Getty Research Institute
A wealth of resources, including: Getty Research Library Catalog ; Getty Research Library Photo Study Collection  Database ; Special Collections Finding Aids

Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
Site will lead to a search engine. Art image database is of high quality and contains over 82,000 images. Access is rapid and focus is educational at all levels.

Gabrius - (now e-Flux)
Access to most of the web site is restricted to subscribers. Founded in 1997, Gabrius is an art multimedia group. It has recently shed its name and joined with e-Flux, a New York based company. With offices in London, Milan and New York the group focuses on bringing art and business together. It is particularly interested in multimedia, in e-commerce and other electronic means of tracking the international art market. The site is a model for quality e-commerce.

Bibliography - "Gaining Access to Visual Information
Now somewhat dated, this bibliography was a winner of the Gerd Mushsam Award from ARLIS/NA [Art Libraries Information Society/ North America]. Lesley Bell, author.

Great Buildings
An extensive site for photographic images and architectural drawings of buildings from around the world. Also includes 3D models, commentary, bibliographies, and web links to additional sites. A first stop for architecture searches.
Close-by. Emory University museum. Permanent collection of 15,000 objects and temporary exhibitions.

National Portrait Gallery,
Smithsonian Museums, United States

National Portrait Gallery,
United Kingdom
Some 90,000 images now available.

New York Times - Museum and Gallery listing
Directory of museums and art gallery highlights, mainly in Manhatten.

Saatchi: The World's Interactive Art Gallery. A British offering of Contemporary art providing the work of little-known as well as established artists whose works are rarely exhibited. Rich, rich source of art and ideas.

Smithsonian Institution
Includes listings for the Cooper-Hewitt Museum, Hirschorn Museum, National Museum of African Art, National Museum of American Art, National Museum of the American Indian, National Portrait Gallery, and the Sackler and Freer Galleries.  

Web Gallery of Art
A searchable database of painting and sculpture. Limited to European art and to the Gothic through Baroque periods. Over 6,500 reproductions are available with biographies of artists and commentary on the art.

Whitney Museum of American Art
A museum of contemporary art.  High quality images

Krannert Art Museum
From antiquity to surrealism. Part of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Features special hypermedia projects for Web visitors.

Michael C. Carlos Museum

 National Gallery of Art
Search by artist or title, or take the virtual tour of the week. The National Gallery began with the donation of Andrew W. Mellon's considerable collection and has grown with the gifts of hundreds of donors. The museum is open 363 days a year, free of charge to visitors.

Mark Harden's comprehensive site developed for use by the educational community. Contains core works commonly found in surveys of art.

A database of over 7,500 images by well-know artists. Can be searched by movement, medium, subject, nationality, name, and by women artists.

American Memory: Photographs, Prints, & Drawings
Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. Noteworthy are the collections of thousands of photographs of Americana, especially the 4,000 panoramic photographs taken between 1851 and 1991.

ArtLex: Dictionary of Visual Art Terminology
Michael Delahunt, Sonoran Sky Elementary School, Scottsdale, Arizona. Includes 2,600 art and art-related terms with many illustrations and links to images, artist pages, and other relevant Web sites. Alphabetical index and list of "shortcuts" to broad subjects, e.g., ceramics.

Explore Art
Getty Center.  Information about art in general with specific attention to the Getty collections.

Boston (Mass.) and Its Neighborhoods: Images
Donald Altschiller and Ruth Thomas, Boston University Libraries. List of sites containing images of Boston in art, architecture, and photography.

Census of Antique Works of Art and Architecture Known in the Renaissance. Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Two databases: Antique Monuments and Renaissance Documents.  Also searchable by Location, Person, Date, Style, Inscription, and Bibliography.

Cumulus Image Database. Art History Department, Boston University. 

Explore Art
Getty Center.

Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco Art Imagebase
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (FAMSF). The FAMSF are in the process of putting their entire collections online. 70,000 images are in the imagebase which is searchable by keyword, artist, country, and period. The Collections include western, African and Oceanic art with particular strength in American art.

Icon Browser
Gioacchino La Vecchia, Computer Science Department, Pisa University, Italy. Searchable archive of icons in the public domain.

NYPL Digital Gallery.
New York Public Library's searchable database of 275,000 photographs and manuscripts from its collections.  Also browsable by names and subjects.

This site has hundreds of images of Italian sculpture and European architecture searchable by keyword or browsable by indexes.

World Heritage List
UNESCO. Images and descriptions of over 700 protected cultural and natural sites worldwide arranged alphabetically by country. Click on Criteria for more information about the project and sites.