Department of Art & Art History

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Visual Arts Complex
Visual Arts Complex

Image Finding Guides

These are links to selected general guides and search engines for finding images of art and visual culture. Note that our  “Selected image resources organized chronologically, geographically, or by type” also contain more focused image finding guides (see links on our Find Images page). Feel free to contact us with other suggestions. Please be aware that some links may point to images from sources that do not provide authoritative information about images and rights.

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.

  • Art History Resources on the Web
    These are art history resources not selected specifically for their image content, but many of them feature images. Created by Professor Christopher Witcombe, Professor, Department of Art and Art History, Sweet Briar College, Virginia.
  • Artcyclopedia
    Provides references to sites on the World Wide Web where artists’ works can be viewed online. Has indexed over 2,300 art sites, and offers over 95,000 links to an estimated 180,000 artworks by 8,200 renowned artists.
  • Creative Commons Search
    Looking for images or other creative works that you can reuse or modify? Creative Commons (CC) is a non-profit organization that provides creators with a set of flexible copyleft licenses and tools that they can easily assign to their works free of charge. This portal helps you find works with CC licenses, which you can reuse under the terms selected by the creator. Note that it is not a search engine, but an access point to other organizations’ search services.
  • Digital Image Collections Guide
    Site hosted by the American Library Association; a “curated bibliography of quality digital image collections spanning ~85 subjects, including ~950 digital collections, that have been culled primarily from the LibGuides Community, and several subject areas have been further refined by 20 subject liaison librarians at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.”
  • Digital Images Collections Wiki
    From Wellesley College. A very useful resource of Free- and Fair-Use digital image collections that are available for anyone to use for personal and educational purposes.
  • Finding Images Online
    From JISC Digital Media, which exists to help the UK’s FE and HE communities embrace and maximize the use of digital media.
  • Google Advanced Image Search
    Google’s image search engine provides links to countless images on the Web, many of which are low quality with frequently extraneous search results. To narrow search results with higher quality images, use the Advanced Image Search and specify an image size of at least medium.
  • Looking for Good Art
    In-depth guide in three parts: 1) Web Resources and Image Databases; 2) Image Retrieval; 3) Glorious National Collections.
  • Museums
    Directory of online museum collections around the world; another section of Andrew Midkiff’s The Mother of All Art History Link Pages.