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metropolitan-museum-of-art-historical-photography-3 News & Insight

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Releases 400,000 Images To Online Users

By Michelle Bird on June 10th 2014


The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the largest art museum in the United States, has released 400,000 pictures from its private collection to online users on the web. The collection of photographs includes some that are on display at the Met and others that have never been released for public view.  The images are available for folks to download, but cannot be used commercially. The Met’s images are only meant for scholarly use, as the museum defines it below:

“All school and academic work … , conference proceedings, journal articles, essays in Festschrifts, museum exhibition catalogues, non-commercially produced textbooks and educational materials, books published by university presses or the academic/scholarly imprint of commercial publishers, self-published books, and documentary films.”

[Danny Lyon’s Iconic Bikeriders Series Keeps Americana Alive Across The Globe]

If you have maybe 8+ hours to spare in a day, or want to tap into a little bit of history while discovering something new, perhaps find a little inspiration along the way, the Met’s collection is definitely one you’ll want to explore.

Take a look at some featured favorites below, which include men dressed in classy suits while mountain-climbing, and a lovely Asian street minstrel that seems to be singing a rock ‘n roll tunes.


Children at resort / Martin Munkacsi (1929)


Head of Man with Hat and Cigar / Leon Levinstein (1960)


The Ascent of Mont Blanc / Auguste-Rosalie Bisson (ca 1860)


Sincerely Yours, Woodrow Wilson / Arthur S. Mole (1918)


Pensive / Pierre-Louis Pierson (1893)


Street Minstrel, Gose / Shinichi Suzuki (1870s)


Chronophotograph / Etienne-Jules Marey (1894)


Isambard Kingdom Brunel Standing Before the Launching Chains of the Great Eastern / Robert Howlett (1857)


Rowing Home the Schoof-Stuff / Peter Henry Emerson (1886)


Japanese Woman in Carriage by Shinichi Suzuki (1870′s)


An Eel-Catcher’s Home by Peter Henry Emerson (1885-86)

For more info visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s official website.

CREDIT: All images, Courtesy of Metropolitan Museum of Art Collection

[via] Demilked

Michelle Bird is a Southern California based freelance photographer and writer, with a strong focus on music, editorial and portrait photography. She is the founder and creative force behind the music+culture online blog Black Vinyl Magazine, and can often be found in the photo-pit shooting the latest concerts in town. She has a strong passion for art, exploring, vintage finds and most of all animals. Connect with her through Email,
Instagram , or Facebook

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Barry Cunningham

    Looks amazing.
    Just what I need for my spare time, another half-million photos to peruse.

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  2. Michael Chapman

    That IS hard to stop, you just want to keep going … like eating potato chips …

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  3. Andrew S

    Holy cow! There are some pretty cool photos in the above preview, I cannot wait to see what’s next! I wonder if I will get to see them all…that’s so many.

    It would take almost ELEVEN YEARS (10.95) to view all these if I looked at 100 per day. Maybe if I religiously view 200 per day, I could safely say I will see them all, but then I won’t get to take them in as easily.
    I wonder if I could make that commitment, in tandem with my photographic commitment to take, view, and edit my own photos by the thousands.

    Hmph. Worth a shot.

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  4. Joshua Flowers

    Aaaannnnd there just went my afternoon. Amazing inspiration here.

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    • Michelle Bird

      Haha, I get you Joshua! It’s like the golden-inspiration one you were looking for might be missed if you don’t keep clicking “next.”

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