Freer|Sackler Goes Digital, Releasing Images of Entire Collections for Public Use

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Katsushika Hokusai, Thunder god, 1847 (Courtesy Freer Gallery of Art)

freersacklerThe museum collection digitization boom continues! Following the lead of institutions such as The Getty, the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery kicked off the new year by releasing their full collections online. Translation: more than 40,000 masterpieces of Asian and American art (the vast majority of which have never been on public display) are now available for free public use. Thumbnails these are not. More than 90 percent of the images will be available in high resolution and without copyright restrictions. In the initial release, each work is represented by one or more highly detailed images at the highest possible resolution, with some available for download as digital wallpaper. So stop what you’re doing and outfit your laptop, tablet, and smartphone with the frolicking—or possibly warring—gilded peacocks from James McNeill Whistler‘s famed Peacock Room.

Pictured at right, Neil Greentree working on collection digitization. (Photo: Hutomo Wicaksono for Freer and Sackler Galleries)