Metropolitan Museum of Art Unleashes Access to 400k Images

André Smith, 28 Years Old, from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, $30 - Philip-Lorca diCorcia 

André Smith, 28 Years Old, from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, $30 - Philip-Lorca diCorcia 

The entire world now has access to an incredible wealth of art and history thanks to a new initiative by New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, the largest art museum in the country. The Met has made digital images of almost 400,000 works in its collection available for download from its website, and it will continue to add more.

Director Thomas P. Campbell said in the Met's announcement, "Through this new, open-access policy, we join a growing number of museums that provide free access to images of art in the public domain. I am delighted that digital technology can open the doors to this trove of images from our encyclopedic collection.”

The Met is offering these images up for free for all non-commercial purposes, and Southern Glossary is more than happy to be obliged to them as we plumb the depths of the database for works from and of the South that may not have seen the light of day for some time. 

Right off the bat, you may be interested in the museum's collection of over 8,000 items by Walker Evans, including his famous documentary photographs of Hale County, Alabama, which formed the basis of the touchstone book Now Let Us Praise Famous Men.

Longwood Plantation House, Natchez, Mississippi - Walker Evans 

Longwood Plantation House, Natchez, Mississippi - Walker Evans 

There are also hidden gems like Edward Hopper's watercolor painting of Folly Beach, SC, a rare non-New England subject for the painter. 

Folly Beach, Charleston, South Carolina - Edward Hopper

Folly Beach, Charleston, South Carolina - Edward Hopper

Beyond painting and photography, the Met has a large collection of decorative and historical art items. There are carved doorways from colonial homes in Savannah, GA, glass flasks from Kentucky, and musical instruments like dulcimers from North Carolina. 

We'll be bringing you more in-depth looks at works in the Met's collection, but you can start searching through the collection yourself here.