Or am I missing something?
Trying to load an image sends 50 separate requests, when the entire image is less than 400kb. This is the exact opposite of what web optimizers try to do, which is combine lots of small images into 1 large one and use clever CSS to show small parts of the image in the right places on the webpage..
Even if the actual efficiency is no where near that, a 1080p jpg fits in that so it's not like people would want the IIIF functionality on images that small anyway.
From the link:
Students, educators, and just regular art lovers might be interested to learn that we’ve released thousands of images in the public domain on the new website in an open-access format (52,438 to be exact, and growing regularly). Made available under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license, these images can be downloaded for free on the artwork pages.
We’ve also enhanced the image viewing capabilities on object pages, which means that you can see much greater detail on objects than before. Check out the paint strokes in Van Gogh’s The Bedroom, the charcoal details on Charles White’s Harvest Talk, or the synaesthetic richness of Georgia O’Keeffe’s Blue and Green Music. If you are doing research, you’ll appreciate how our collections search tool makes it easier to drill down and find exactly what you’re looking for.
If I take a photograph of something, don't I own the copyright to that photo? Even if it is a photo of the Mona Lisa or the Parthenon?
What your colleagues did is literally reproduce the work of another, and assert copyright on the copy.
What if I took the image your gallery took, used state of the art JPEG compression software on it and created a new optimized file, would I know be entitled to copyright on that?
People who defend the legal position with "But it's creative effort!" do not quite understand the test that applies, and are not actually explaining things correctly. The legal test in British law is whether it is original, the qualifiation that is used in the legislation itself, and there have been a few landmark cases in the 20th century where originality most definitely did not mean creativity. Indeed, it is one of the little-mentioned problems with BrExit that it has quite drastic effects on copyright law, as some of the legal tests that apply derive from EU Court of Justice decisions that may or may not continue to have force. It has been opined by some that the so-called "Infopaq" standard may cease to be applied by British courts, which may revert to older, lower, thresholds for originality.
In your jpeg example, I think (IANAL!) you might have had a stronger case if you artifacted the heck out of it, rather than faithfully recreating the original photo - the artifacts could be argued to be some form of artistic expression.
That being said, I am not convinced such reproductions should have full copyright protection on par with that granted an original work of art - but there ought to be some mechanism to recognise the effort and skill which went into creating it; otherwise there would hardly be any incentive to create high quality reproductions.
So I guess I'm with the OP about being unclear what the value of the license is. Oh well, maybe it's just a simple CYA/clarify expectations/whatever.
There was once a time when the only way for the average person to see a beautiful painting was to go to church. Later on this role was taken up by art galleries. Now anyone can see this stuff from the comfort of their own home.
What do you think this means for the future of art galleries? What are they for? Different ones are answering this question in different ways. Some are reinventing themselves successfully, others not so much.
I am particularly interested in the destiny of galleries in smaller markets. They are easier to sustain in large cities. In cities with fewer than a million people, the struggle for relevance makes for a challenging environment.
(My questions aren’t rhetorical - I sit on the board of directors for a Canadian gallery in a city of 500k people - we have one of Canada’s largest collections and an incredible program, but nothing is easy...)
Although it's great being able so see the image on your desktop the experience of seeing the actual artwork is very often much better.
On screen you'll miss out on much of the subtly of texture, surface finishes, scale, framing, the ability to look at it from different angles and distances and more. These all add a lot to the viewing experience.
This may displace museum visits by people who need to look at paintings for utilitarian purposes (research, homework) but if anything, finding a great painting here will only want to make me go the museum more.
Agreed. And moreover, the licensing intentionally allows reproductions, so you can print life-size posters of these pieces to hang at home, if you want.
> What do you think this means for the future of art galleries? What are they for?
Hasn’t the primary function of a gallery always been to sell art, more than to be a public museum for the average person? If you think about it that way, maybe having online galleries doesn’t necessarily affect brick and mortar galleries? Perhaps it’s possible that online galleries will push more people will see the premium value of owning original art?
> I am particularly interested in the destiny of galleries in smaller markets.
In theory, Chicago’s move here to release public domain images doesn’t change small galleries, right? Small galleries are showing & selling current work and more by local artists, work that is still under copyright.
As an artist, I hope that the rising tides lift all boats, that public and easy online access to a lot of art will be a force for art education and appreciation. But, who knows, maybe an online flood will have unintended negative consequences.
About the future of art galleries, I'm reminded of a Reddit post where someone mentioned visiting a Goya exhibition. The audioguide gave enough background on the pieces that you could trace the evolution of Goya's state of mind, and as a result you could understand the man through his art. I've always been jealous of that story: I love art galleries, I've visited plenty, and yet seeing lots and lots of art has not really improved my understanding of it.
I imagine art galleries could follow a path similar to libraries: a place where you go not because of the paintings themselves, but rather as a place to learn and where the (curated) selection tells a story.
I would argue the continued usefulness of Benjamin's essay is similar to the writings of McLuhan - it forces you to think critically about the mode and method of the production of an image/artwork (or message), and how that mode affects (or doesn't) a work. It's a radically different and refreshing perspective for looking at art or media as a whole.
For instance - how different (and much more moving) is seeing a woodblock print of Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji in person from seeing a tiny thumbnail in Google Image search, a further step of mechanical reproduction?
They opened up a bunch of university collections this summer. Their institution subscription gives students access to millions of images for research.
Also, much artwork these days is 3 or 4 dimensional (time), so 2-D reproductions have even less fidelity.
Glazing, lighting, signage, height, framing, decor, noise, other people and many other factors can reduce the fidelity of experience or provide unskippable distractions.
The most extreme example being visiting the Mona Lisa in person, but these challenges exist with most physical art except perhaps that hung in your own home over which you have complete control.
I suspect the role of galleries remains largely unchanged - curation and context will always be relevant. I do think you are on to something with the issue of smaller markets: how do you convince people to come in person, and can you do it at a price point that will attract them?
I recently compared (Canadian, as it happens) ticket and membership costs for galleries in a an approximately 500k market and a > 5million market. Although the individual costs were about the same, the entire physical size of the small market one was far less that one tenth the larger one. Regardless of the collection size, this is pretty limiting. Some of the fixed costs don't scale well, and I do think this makes things more difficult in smaller markets, particularly if you are trying to draw people from outside your core market.
As more and more high quality reproductions from big markets become available, has your board discussed the possibility of curated display/discussion of collections of these? Particularly if you could have the use of a first rate projection system?
I think it's reasonable to consider these digital resources as a supplement to, rather than a replacement of, visiting the gallery in person.
I would argue plenty of paintings are better viewed online, sculptures far less so. Is it better to have a restricted view at the back of a live performance or see a perfectly edited video later?
It's hard to be moved shuffling through queues at the Louvre.
You make a good point about the different value of different presentations. In some ways the bad seat is better than the video, in others not.
43" at 4K is 102 PPI, so I guess you would need a 16K TV to get 250+
I don't think average person like me really understands what a beautiful painting means.
It's irritating having to jump over complicated hurdles to get a seamless hi-res image capture from Google Arts. It requires some messing about, but I previously managed to grab about 100 high res images, but it took ages and was not easy. They printed out nicely in the end though, so was worth it.
A simple download link as seen on artic.edu would be appreciated but sadly I don't see Google providing this because they want people to remain on Google, logged in, while they view art.
The word "security" can't be applied when the measures in place are "don't include a download link".
There is no "security" when the image displays perfectly fine on the screen. It just takes a few screens worth of panning, screen-grabbing and assembling a complete image in Photoshop. After a few rounds, I had a rather efficient workflow going using macros. Most of the artwork I was interested in was between 50 and 100 years old, and completely for personal use - printing out hi-res versions on paper of my choice (matte, never glossy like almost all commercial art prints.)
I don't know how up-to-date it is.
Also for folks interested: SF MoMA was doing something similar where if you texted them a word they would send you a picture related to it (from their collection)
The museums could also start selling prints online as well, perhaps create new means of funding for the museums
In a similar thread on HN some time ago, I was very surprised to learn some museums (and commenters) think that they own the copyright to high-resolution digital reproductions of their (pre-1923) collection: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17500312
It's a shame, because it obvious that a lot of work and care was put on this project.
The images are nice, and definitely suitable for desktop wallpaper, which is what I'm interested in, but they're not all that high-resolution. They seem to vary between 2k and 3k pixel resolution.
If you are interested in specific individual collections then size might matter; if you are interested in Polynesian art, then possibly you could exhaust the Met's or Chicago's collections (I don't know).
But in some respects the two museums are the same size. And to go off on a tangent, I now find that I gain much more by spending a long time, maybe 30 minutes each, with a few works of art, rather than spending a few minutes each with 100 works. So for me, a museum with 10 great (IMHO) works would be plenty big, and better than a museum with 100,000 works that I have to sort through or walk past to find the ones I'm interested in. (Though the odds that the 10-piece museum would have what I want are a bit longer.)
For that matter I spent an hour with the Art Institutes paper weight collection one time and felt I learned something.
The translation and simulation of the art ends up being very post-modern in its implementation. There really is no one experience to viewing this collection; some of us may view it on our phones while at work, some people on a gorgeous hi-res screen to see every brushstroke, some on a washed-out $199 laptop screen, some on a $50 Kindle Fire as a homework project, and some secondhand, like the pictures on the blog that links to it. It's very much anti-modernist in that it denies the physical presence of art and is arguing a little for the death of the artist (i do not mean literally) by severing viewing his art from viewing the actual piece; that the meaning can be adequately shown by a simulation designed to be accessible to all, and that is reductionist to boot.
The weird thing is that this is accidental-the postmodern presentation is not done specifically for effect, but it's a byproduct of a very modernist idea about the importance of viewing great art. The simulation is created and is given weight and importance, but there is no commentary or reflection on it; the format is simply there because postmodernism is the only way to simulate in this media. To render physical artwork on the net will always be a simulated, reductionist project in some manner.
The person who goes to a museum, somehow records his experience on video, and narrates his thoughts is making in his own way an equal simulation yet superior. He is also reducing the art into a simulation, because its attributes cannot be fully transmitted to another medium without reducing it, but he enriches it in a sense by the depiction. There is the post-modern interplay between viewer and viewed, between work and audience, on display and then reflected again by the person watching his video on youtube.
Here there is still these elements, but in an odd situation. Maybe it would be like those old VHS tapes that tried to faithfully reproduce a Broadway show performance, or records that did opera. The goal is fidelity but the medium transforms it just by the simulation. It may be valuable in the sense simulations are, but it's also transformative due to the medium used. It creates a weird thing divorced from itself, but with no commentary or reasoning that acknowledges it.
So mixed feelings. Maybe its just my mountains of sketchbooks filled with amateurish art talking, but i'd prefer even an art book to this, I guess.
Is this what I should expect? Seems rather small...
its awesome and i love they are doing it!! now get your IT together ARTIC!!!
seriously try the search it just returns some json lol:
(in other words there aren't "50,000 high res works online" if nobody can actually see them...)
But this does the not-unusual thing of not saving your place if you scroll down a few pages, click through to an entry, and then click back to the catalog.