The Art Institute of Chicago has opened their image archives to the public. They are allowing unrestricted access to thousands of high resolution images from its digital archive (44,313 to be exact). As part of the museums "digital evolution" they are looking to change the way people interact with art.
"We expanded our scope to encompass the interconnected nature of the web, knowing that how our content displays on other platforms is just as important as the look and feel of our own site. With this redesign, we’ve gone from creating a singular website to becoming a more dynamic presence on the web. So no matter how you digitally encounter our content—through email subscriptions, keyword searches on search engines, or stories on social media—we want to help you find the artworks that inspire you."
The release has been made available under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license.
In February 2017, The Metropolitan Museum of Art made all of the public domain works in its collection available online. Within 6 months, the museum saw drastic change in how people were interacting with their site. The Met’s website had a 17 percent spike in traffic and saw a 64 percent increase in image downloads. Users who downloaded photographs were reportedly spending five times as long on the site.