10 Musical Gems from the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Massive Image Archive

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art has been digitizing its vast archives and this month released for download the first installment on its website. The 400,000 (and counting) images that are in the public domain are free to use for non-commercial use without permission or fees.

The entire project – which echoes similar initiatives by the New York Philharmonic and other organizations – is part of the initiative Open Access for Scholarly Content (OASC). Here are a few music-related gems.


Arnold Schoenberg, Hollywood, 1947 (George Platt Lynes/Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Rudolf Serkin, Pianist, Carmel (Gift of Estate of Johan Hagemeyer, 1962/Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Pablo Casals (1954) (© Yousuf Karsh/Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Virgil Thomson, Leonard Bernstein, Walter Piston, William Schuman, and Aaron Copland in 1970 (© Bruce Davidson, Magnum Photos/Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Opening Night, Metropolitan Opera: Men in Top Hats (Garry Winograd/Metropolitan Museum of Art)

One-Man Band Street Musician, Possibly Bethune Street, New York City (1930-33) (Walker Evans/Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Subway Passengers, New York City: Mother and Daughter Beneath Symphony Poster (1941) (© Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

A Virginia Brights cigarette ad featuring opera singers, ca. 1888 (The Jefferson R. Burdick Collection, Gift of Jefferson R. Burdick/Metropolitan Museum of Art)

"The Dance Lesson" by Edgar Degas (H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Gift of Adaline Havemeyer Perkins, in memory of her father, Horace Havemeyer, 1971/Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Auguste Renoir's The Daughters of Catulle Mendès, Huguette (1871–1964), Claudine (1876–1937), and Helyonne (1879–1955) (The Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg Collection/Metropolitan Museum of Art)