Free Art from the Met

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has released a vast part of their collection as digital images for free (yes, unlimited, unrestricted) use.  They tally the count at 406,000 images.

Their details here:

This story details the public search access point, which gives individual images.

To use the images in a large system, there is an API for direct program access OR there is a slightly convoluted method that allow downloading the whole database as a CSV file and loading it where you wish.

    • 1: API Access:
      A REST style URL allowing searching access and returning various information including a URL to the actual Image.
      Details at:
    • 2: Full database download:
      This allows getting a full data dump with all the values returned by the API as one data file.
      The data points to CSV via a Github method for downloading large data sets:
      the “git-lfs” system
This is done by installing lfs
and then doing:
git lfs clone

This results in a CSV file, EXCEPT there are some embedded returns in the CSV so a direct CSV database load can not always be used.  I wrote a script to clean up the CSV to load directly into a mysql (MariaDB) database.  If you have trouble loading the data, email our contact form and we’ll help how we can.

Here is more about the project:

And other related projects:

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