Department of Art & Art History

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Visual Arts Complex
Visual Arts Complex

Find Images: 18th and 19th Century European and Early American

These are image resources selected for their strength in 18th and 19th century European and early American art and visual culture. Feel free to contact us with other suggestions.

Images posted on the Internet are protected by copyright laws — read the terms of use for any website before downloading images, even for educational purposes.


Be sure to also check the VRC’s selection of Online Museum Collections.

  • The Atlantic Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Americas
    “The 1,280 images in this collection have been selected from a wide range of sources, most of them dating from the period of slavery. This collection is envisioned as a tool and a resource that can be used by teachers, researchers, students, and the general public – in brief, anyone interested in the experiences of Africans who were enslaved and transported to the Americas and the lives of their descendants in the slave societies of the New World.”
  • Art Images for College Teaching (AICT)
    “A personal, non-profit project of its author, art historian and visual resources curator Allan T. Kohl. AICT is intended primarily to disseminate images of art and architectural works in the public domain on a free-access, free-use basis to all levels of the educational community, as well as to the public at large.”
  • Artstor (access limited to the CU community)
    Artstor  is a digital library of over one million “images in the areas of art, architecture, the humanities, and social sciences with a set of tools to view, present, and manage images for research and pedagogical purposes.” The VRC provides training and support in this valuable resource.
  • Bildarchiv Foto Marburg, Image Index of Art and Architecture
    “Its mission is to collect, index and make available photographs related to European art and architecture, as well as to conduct research on the history, practice and theory of how visual cultural assets are passed on, especially the accompanying transformation process as it relates to the media, the conditions of storing knowledge in visual form, and the significance to society of remembering visual culture. With its roughly 1.7 million photographs, Foto Marburg is one of the largest image archives on European art and architecture.” Website is in German.
  • Digital Imaging Project
    Photographs from the travels of Mary Ann Sullivan at Bluffton University. The archive currently contains over 19,000 images and grows as Sullivan continues her travels. Emphasis on European and American architecture, but also includes Egyptian, some Asian, and Mexican sites. They are freely available for personal or educational purposes.
  • Europeana
    “Around 1500 institutions have contributed to Europeana. Renowned names such as the British Library in London, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and the Louvre in Paris are featured alongside smaller organisations across Europe. Together, their assembled collections allow you to explore Europe’s history from ancient times to the modern day.”
  • Joconde
    “Joconde is the central database, now mostly available online, for objects in the collections of the state museums of France, maintained by the French Ministry of Culture.”  Website is in French.
  • Lewis Walpole Library
    “The main focus of the Digital Collection is the Library’s world-renowned collection of English caricatures and political satirical prints from the late-seventeenth through the mid-nineteenth centuries. Included are works by Bunbury, Woodward, Gillray, Rowlandson, and Newton, among others.”
  • Library of Congress American Memory Collections
    “American Memory provides free and open access through the Internet to written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience. It is a digital record of American history and creativity. These materials, from the collections of the Library of Congress and other institutions, chronicle historical events, people, places, and ideas that continue to shape America, serving the public as a resource for education and lifelong learning.”
  • Library of Congress Digital Collections
    With a concentration on its most rare collections and those unavailable anywhere else, this is a growing treasury of digitized photographs, manuscripts, maps, sound recordings, motion pictures, and books, as well as born-digital materials such as Web sites.
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art
    “The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s permanent collection contains more than two million works, divided among nineteen curatorial departments. The Collections Database is a searchable database of artworks and related materials from the permanent collection of the Met. The Met’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History provides short introductions to periods, cultures, and geographical areas in the history of world art illustrated with works from the Met’s permanent collection.”
  • Musée d’Orsay
    The Orsay collection consists mainly French art from 1848 to 1915. Its collection of impressionist and post-impressionist is the largest in world. While there is a search interface in English, the item records are in French.
  • NYPL Digital Gallery
    Provides free and open access to over 800,000 images digitized from the New York Public Library’s vast collections, including illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints, photographs and more.
  • Olga’s Gallery
    Personal site of over 10,000 fair use images with a focus on the canon of Western Art from the medieval to modern periods. The Web site features primarily painting with a few sculptures. Terms of Use require users to cite the Web site as the image source.
  • Smithsonian American Art Museum
    “The nation’s first collection of American art and one of the world’s largest and most inclusive collections of art made in the United States.”
  • Web Gallery of Art
    A personal gallery with a searchable database of European painting and sculpture from the 12th to mid-19th centuries. Contains over 18,000 images. While most images are surrogates scanned from printed sources, many are of acceptable quality for classroom projection.
  • WorldImages
    Browse the various collections in World Images, managed by California State University, to find images of 18th and 19th century European and American art.

You might also wish to search for relevant content on the following VRC pages: