I’m thrilled that so many renowned art museums are making their collections available online. I’m even more thrilled when a digital collection allows me to search for public domain images, so I can find images to use in my art.
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) gave me many ways to search its collection – by public domain images (over 20,000,) by most popular, by time period, by object type, by on view, plus an advanced search that allowed me to zero in by many facets, such as exhibition history. Some of the search headings seem a bit quirky, like cherry blossoms. Here I found a contender for the longest title.
Act IV: Envoys from the Shogun Approach Lady Kaoyo and Group at Enya’s Castle, Bringing Sentence of Death to Enya, Lady Kaoyo Is Surrounded by Cherry Blossoms Gathered to Cheer Enya during His Incarceration Japan, circa 1835-1839
As further icing on the cake (no such thing as too much) LACMA has hundreds of textiles in its collection that are in the public domain. Admittedly, many are textile fragments, but from what I saw, these pieces aren’t on public view. The only way you can see them is digitally. A brief pause for a message from my soapbox – many museums don’t display their textile collections. You can see them only online.
The following works in the public domain caught my eye as I browsed.
Chamba Rumal with Scenes of Gopis Adoring Krishna
India, Himachal Pradesh, probably Kangra, late 18th to early 19th century Textiles; embroidery
Silk embroidery on cotton
30 1/2 x 28 1/2 in.
I think the gopis look like they belong in “The Simpsons.”
Quilt for Four Poster Bed, ‘Variable Star’
United States, New England, 1725-1750, Textiles; quilts
Pieced and quilted wool, 104 1/2 x 102 1/2 in.
I love the blocks where the maker ran out of fabric and made do. At over 100 inches each way this quilt must have made a bold statement on a bed.
Quilt, ‘Log Cabin’ Pattern, ‘Pineapple’ variation
United States, Pennsylvania, 1870-1880 Textiles; quilts
Pieced wool and cotton, 88 x 88 in
I love the diagonal red stripes that show up occasionally in this one.
Here’s one public domain image I thought would make a striking quilt.
Shoeshine Stand, Southeastern United States
Walker Evans (United States, 1903-1975), United States, circa 1936
Photographs, Gelatin silver print
As I hope you’ve seen, this site has lots of entertainment value if you like images of art.