October 15, 2013

Getty Releases Second Batch of Open Content Images, More than Doubling Number Available to the Public

Getty Research Institute adds 5,400 images to Open Content Program, which provides images available for use without restrictions


Julie Jaskol
Getty Communications
(310) 440-7607 

Lantern design (detail) in Kangxi dengtu (Kangxi-era lantern patterns), China, 1790. Ink and watercolor. The Getty Research Institute, 2003.M.25

LOS ANGELES—The Getty today released 5,400 high-resolution images from the Getty Research Institute (GRI) through its Open Content Program, more than doubling the number available to the public for use without fees or restriction, bringing the total of available images to roughly 10,000.

“We are delighted to include these images from the Getty Research Institute in our Open Content Program, which makes these images available without charge to be used for any purpose,” said Getty President and CEO Jim Cuno. “We saw a phenomenal outpouring of creativity and enthusiasm from the public in response to our initial release of J. Paul Getty Museum images; we can’t wait to see what kind of scholarship will spring from this release of Getty Research Institute images.”

The Getty Research Institute images join approximately
4,600 images from the J. Paul Getty Museum that were released in August through the first phase of the Open Content Program.  Immediately after the initial release, traffic to the Getty Search Gateway, the tool that enables access to Open Content images, skyrocketed from an average of 200 visits per day to a peak of 22,000. Within the first two months, there were more than 100,000 downloads of Open Content images, compared to an average of 121 image requests a month prior to Open Content. 

“The Getty Research Institute’s vaults hold rare books, prints, photographs, manuscripts and sketchbooks that provide perspectives on artistic production, intellectual exchange, and creative collaboration,” said Thomas W. Gaehtgens, director of the GRI.
 “We hope that by making these images available without restrictions, we will be stimulating a similar kind of intellectual exchange, initiating scholarship and discussion and increasing awareness of the GRI’s rare and unique collections in art history and visual culture.”

5,400 newly available images from the Research Institute include drawings and watercolors, artists’ sketchbooks, rare prints from the 16th through the 18th century, 19th-century architectural drawings of cultural landmarks and 19th-century photographs of the Middle East and Asia.

The Getty plans to continue to add images, until eventually all applicable Getty-owned or public domain images are available, without restrictions, online. The Museum and the GRI are continuing to identify applicable images, and the Getty Conservation Institute is also working to make available images from its projects worldwide.

Prior to the Open Content Program, the Getty Research Institute made high-resolution images available upon request and granted specific use permissions with terms and conditions. Now, while the Getty requests information about the intended use, it will not restrict use of available images, and no fees apply for any use of images made available for direct download on the website.

“This project goes to the heart of the Getty’s mission to share its collections and research as widely as possible,” said Cuno. “We look forward to seeing the ingenious, creative and thoughtful ways these images are being used.”

For more information on the Getty’s Open Content Program, visit:


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The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that includes the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Research Institute, the Getty Conservation Institute, and the Getty Foundation. The J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs serve a varied audience from two locations:  the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Malibu.

The J. Paul Getty Museum collects in seven distinct areas, including Greek and Roman antiquities, European paintings, drawings, manuscripts, sculpture and decorative arts, and photographs gathered internationally. The Museum’s mission is to make the collection meaningful and attractive to a broad audience by presenting and interpreting the works of art through educational programs, special exhibitions, publications, conservation, and research.

The Getty Research Institute is an operating program of the J. Paul Getty Trust. It serves education in the broadest sense by increasing knowledge and understanding about art and its history through advanced research. The Research Institute provides intellectual leadership through its research, exhibition, and publication programs and provides service to a wide range of scholars worldwide through residencies, fellowships, online resources, and a Research Library. The Research Library—housed in the 201,000-square-foot Research Institute building designed by Richard Meier—is one of the largest art and architecture libraries in the world. The general library collections (secondary sources) include almost 900,000 volumes of books, periodicals, and auction catalogues encompassing the history of Western art and related fields in the humanities. The Research Library’s special collections include rare books, artists’ journals, sketchbooks, architectural drawings and models, photographs, and archival materials.

Additional information is available at

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