The Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) announced that the latest redesign of its website features open access to 52,438 public domain images of works in its collection, with more to come. As part of the revamp, the museum has also enhanced the resolution of many images, allowing viewers to see works in far greater detail than ever before.
These images are now available under a Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license, which waives rights to the works worldwide, or, as Creative Commons puts it: “You can copy, modify, distribute, and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.”
Of the AIC’s collection of about 300,000 works, not all are in the public domain and therefore only some are eligible for download. Perennial favorites that aren’t among the trove of readily available high-resolution images include Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks (1942) and Grant Wood’s American Gothic (1930).