The new best thing on the internet: The Met puts 400,000 (!) works of hi-res art online!!!
WHATS MORE RARE: FINDING A PICASSO AT A GARAGE SALE OR A POST ON THE BRILLIANCE!?!? lol. Anyways, let’s get real. This, to me, is unbelievable on so many levels. You can now search MetMuseum.org to see ~400,000 (394,000 to be exact) works of art in beautiful hi-res and it is amazing. When I say hi-res, I really mean it. Most images appears to be in the 10-12 megapixel range, which is more than sufficient to make any of this stuff a background on your phone or desktop, and still plenty sufficient to make some nice prints at home if you wanted to. But most of all, I feel like the reason this is important is because it creates a brand new entrypoint for people to look at art close up and really appreciate the details, ultimately encouraging them to become fans and patrons of it. The cracks in the paint, the erosion of metals and clay, the imperfections that make this stuff perfect. Of course, the ultimate goal here is to get you to go look at these works in person…but this really is as ‘now’ as it gets: hi-res images of historic, fine art on the internet so some 9 year old kid on his iPad can explore it close-up then tell his parents he wants to go to an art museum to see for him/herself. So an artist in need of inspiration can get lost for a few hours poring over the details of some newly discovered Albrecht Dürer illustration. So those of us already in love with art can fall further in love with it and those who aren’t can give it a shot. Can you imagine the amount of work that has gone into doing this too by the way? 394,000!! Insane. I assume this has been years and years in the making. From the Met’s own announcement about this, “...[works] may be downloaded directly from the Museum’s website for non-commercial use—including in scholarly publications in any media—without permission from the Museum and without a fee.” And from Thomas P. Campbell, CEO of the Met, “I am delighted that digital technology can open the doors to this trove of images from our encyclopedic collection.” Go explore.