The tools of technology have made the seemingly impossible, possible. You can view almost any piece of art right in front of you. You don’t have to be physically present in front of a painting, sculpture or artifact to understand it. Sure, while it would be awesome to see things “in the flesh,” on-screen can be second best. And, it is even better when it is free!
Here is a comprehensive list of all the places you can access high-quality images FOR FREE.
Smithsonian Institute has just released 2.8 million images to the public, free to access and use, with more to come.
Search the entire collection, and even take a virtual tour of the museum.
An absolutely fabulous and user-friendly, Google-powered platform. You will spend hours browsing.
Offering 1000s of artworks, writings, and resources all online.
Located in the Netherlands, you can search and create your own collection of images to share with your students.
A robust collection of ancient to modern artwork.
A pioneer art-restoration museum that also has a fabulous collection.
Located in Baltimore, Maryland this collection features an “Artwork of the Day” and many artifacts that are easily searchable.
Not only is the collection completely searchable, but the images are also downloadable in custom sizes!
An extremely detailed and downloadable image database of all artworks.
View artwork from some of the most famous museums in Paris without ever getting on a plane.
A vast collection of photographs that are easily searchable.
Look at the curated albums helpfully organized by theme.
This collection has a spectrum “free to use and reuse” sets categorized in useful themes and genres, such as “World War I Posters” and “Cats.”
Need more information? Learn more here!
It would take a lifetime to see all the artwork featured in the platforms above. The ability to share and understand so many collections and perspectives, for free, is truly a gift. Take advantage of the technology at your fingertips and start browsing now.
What is your go-to resource for images to share with students?
How could you use these platforms within your teaching?
Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.