Joining a rising tide of museums, The Cleveland Museum of Art is taking bold steps to open rights to images and data from its collection. By allowing anyone to use this material from objects that technically fall under the public domain, the museum hopes it will clear the way for digital experimenters to design innovative projects drawing on culturally significant source material. To illustrate the possibilities, the museum teamed up with collaborators like Microsoft, Case Western Reserve University, and American Greetings to create collages, virtual reality experiences, humorous greeting cards, and more.
“The new initiative ‘will expose millions of virtual visitors to a collection to which they would have previously had limited access,’ William Griswold, the museum’s director, said in an interview. ‘They can borrow from it and do whatever they like with those images, and for me, that’s hugely exciting.’’’
The Cleveland Museum of art is launching an open access program giving the public free use of thousands of artworks.