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Prominent Art Galleries Release Complete Digitized Collection

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The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the Smithsonian Institution's two Asian art museums based in Washington, D.C., have released their complete digitized collection as part of their new Open F|S initiative. The collection can be searched online and includes hi-resolution images of over 40,000 objects from the galleries.

The photographed objects include ceramics, paintings and prints, sculptures, books, tools, and much more. Users can search for a specific piece or browse the entire collection by artist, topic, object type, place or culture of origin, or time period.

All of the images can be used free of charge for non-commercial purposes, which means that they're available for all art history, research project, lesson-illustration, or classroom-decoration needs.

The Freer and Sackler Galleries aren't the only museums to digitize their collection for public use in recent years. The New York Metropolitan Museum of Art released 400,000 images of its collection last May, and the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles started digitizing their collection in 2013 through their Open Content Program. Dozens of museums, libraries, and other institutions worldwide also take part in The Commons, a Flickr project that aims to make public-domain photos more readily available.

Photo: At 13' x 20' x 33', The Freer Gallery's Peacock Room is the largest item in the digitzed collection. Smithsonian Freer and Sackler Galleries/Flickr Creative Commons

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