Machiel Kiel Archive Online

Kjustendi-Nevestino, Kadin Most by Machiel Kiel

The Netherlands Institute in Turkey has recently released the first installment of digital images from the vast photographic archives of Dutch historian Machiel Kiel.

A former director of the Netherlands Institute in Turkey (NIT), at which this project is now implemented, Kiel is a scholar whose career has revolved around the study of Ottoman-Islamic architectural monuments in the Balkan countries — an area of study that he pioneered. His archive represents an invaluable source for researchers of this heritage. Created for the most part between the 1960s and 90s, it contains visual documentation of many monuments that have not survived, or have been significantly altered in, the second half of the twentieth century. The publication of Kiel’s archive by the NIT is hoped to significantly advance international research on this heritage.

Images are available for publication free of charge (with attribution). For more information, see the FAQ section of this page. Online Arts Database is a new way to discover art you’ll love, featuring work from leading galleries, museums and private collections around the world. is powered by The Art Genome Project, an ongoing study of the characteristics that distinguish and connect works of art. evaluates artworks across 800+ characteristics (we call them genes)—such as art-historical movements, subject matter, and formal qualities—to create a powerful search experience that reflects the multifaceted aspects of works of art.

One interesting option is to view works of art in a room, as shown above. This gives a vivid sense of size and scale. is still in beta testing, and available only after requesting invitation.

Via Core77.

Updates to Google Art Project

Yesterday Google Art Project launched an impressive expansion which now includes 30,000 high-resolution images from more than 150 museums worldwide. Last year the project included just 1,000 images, mostly of Western paintings. Today’s Google Art Project includes greater cultural diversity as well as photographs, street art, and more. The project is freely available to the public online.

Using a combination of various Google technologies and expert information provided by our museum partners, we have created a unique online art experience. Users can explore a wide range of artworks at brushstroke level detail, take a virtual tour of a museum and even build their own collections to share.

Additional images from the Art Institute of Chicago are now available in Google’s online galleries. The upgrade was announced at the Art Institute yesterday, with Google president Margo Georgiadis welcomed by mayor Rahm Emanuel. Read more about the project here.

Corning Museum of Glass Launches New Website

The Corning Museum of Glass and The Rakow Research Library have launched a redesigned website at The site offers new content, increased access to the Museum and Library’s collections with new user-friendly features. The front page serves as a starting point to explore 35 centuries of glass art: the site now features thousands of videos, articles, images and resources on glass and glassmaking.

Public Art Archive

The Public Art Archive™, a new project of the Western States Arts Federation, or WESTAF (, is a sophisticated searchable database of public art in the United States. The Archive makes public art and its processes more accessible to the public, displaying images of each piece alongside an extensive description, including audio and video supplementary files when available.

Google maps has been integrated into the Public Art Archive™. Users can see works on a map, get driving or walking directions, and save the map for later use. Cultural tourists can create a map of works that they wish to visit and use a mobile device to access information about a piece while physically standing in front of it.



Wellesley College’s Fair Use Image Wiki

The Digital Images Collections Wiki hosted at Wellesley College contains links to image collections that are available for free online for educational or personal use. Links are organized by subject, and image quality varies by site (no images are actually hosted on the wiki). The images may not be approved for use in publication but could be used in the classroom.

For more information about fair use vs. copyright-free images, or if you have any questions, please contact the VRC.

Japanese Image Resources Online

We recently updated the VRC’s Other Art Resources Online page with links to several Japanese image resources online. These include a link to the Tokyo National Museum‘s website, with a version in English organized by type, region, and what is currently on display at the museum.

Other new links include: Japanese cultural properties, Japanese national treasures in public museums, Kyoto National Museum’s collections database, and Japanese modern art in Japanese public museums.

Questions, or suggestions of other websites to add to the list? Please contact the VRC.

Cross Collection Searching at the Smithsonian

Gopis Search

The Smithsonian Institution recently released their Collections Search Center online tool which searches over 2 million records with 265,900 images, video and sound files, electronic journals and other resources from the Smithsonian’s museums, archives and libraries. You can specify that the search return only results with online media. It is also possible to browse by topic, as well as by place, culture, language, and more.

A list of currently available collections is available here, and more collections will be added over time.

Above image: The Gopis Search for Krishna from a Bhagavata Purana, ca. 1780. Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery.