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:

Sotheby’s is streaming the world’s best galleries


Step into the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Tate galleries, or Taiwan’s National Palace Museum from your sofa.

Everyone’s favourite gallery is different. Some people like to peruse cubist sculptures in large minimalist rooms, others like to take in impressionist brushwork under the bows of classical architecture.Now though, you can access some of the world best galleries from the comfort of your own living room, as Sotheby’s steps into the digital age.

Detailed story here

The network is basically many short-ish videos from various galleries in major museums — not just images of art, so some good some bad news as to how useful.

Here is the actual network

Art work by the 1000’s

Once you have decided you want to show art work on your tv, once easy source is our WeLoveMuseums Digital Virtual Museum.  Go over to the WLM @ Home, sign up and select your image categories or artists. There are over 10,000 images of art from ancient Egypt to recent times divided into 300 categories.  Once you have created your profile, there is guidance for how to tie the image display to your device of choice.