A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

At the Smithsonian, the Freer and the Sackler Make Tons of their Art Public, Digital and Free

The Smithsonian Institution has two art galleries that cover the Middle Eastern world as well as East Asia; the Freer Gallery, which houses an originally private collection they can't add to, and the Sackler. Both the Freer and the Sackler have done a magnificent thing: except for some qualifications for commercial use, they have put some 50,000 high-resolution images amounting to over 10 terabytes of data, online and FREE.

Like both of these great collections, the bulk of the images are South and East Asia, but there is a solid core of pre-Islamic and Islamic Middle Eastern material as well. including Persian miniatures, ceramics, and other media.

There are many stories about this new trove online, but your best bet is to go to the Smithsonian website and start browsing.

1 comment:

Rosamond Mack said...

This is a very welcome trend. The National Gallery in Washington has done it too. The Metropolitan, Victoria & Albert, and British Museum are in process--all with significant Islamic art. There are even rumors of beginnings in Italy.