Mark Harden's "Artchive" contains images of many essential works of art covered in any survey course. You won't find many obscure artists or rare works here, but if you need a high-quality reproduction of one of the essentials this is an excellent resource. The site is easy to navigate by the alphabetical listing of all the artists and periods/styles on the left of the screen. Each entry has some text and a list of images towards the bottom. See image use guidelines.
Selected galleries:
- Masters of Photography

Daguerreotype Portraits and Views, Library of Congress

The birth of photography in the 19th century had an enormous impact on the art world, changing the ways that are was seen and created. The Library of Congress' American Memory Project has taken over 725 of these photographs, dating from 1839-1864, and made them available to the public for educational and personal use. "Portrait daguerreotypes produced by the Mathew Brady studio make up the major portion of the collection. The collection also includes early architectural views by John Plumbe, several Philadelphia street scenes, early portraits by pioneering daguerreotypist Robert Cornelius, studio portraits by black photographers James P. Ball and Francis Grice, and copies of painted portraits." The images are of great quality, and are searchable by keyword as well as indexed by subject. More information about the process and development of this medium is available through this site.

Getty Museum

The Getty Foundation provides support to institutions and individuals in Los Angeles and throughout the world, funding a diverse range of projects that promote the understanding and conservation of the visual arts. The website includes images of many work in their collection that can be browsed by artist, type of art, or subject. Use of Getty images is allowed for purposes that fall within fair use (see full image use guidelines).
Selected galleries:
- Photographs

Metropolitan Museum

The Metropolitan Museum of Art hosts 6,500 images of works from their permanent collection on their website. The images are divided into collections by theme, time period, and geography, and there is also a search feature that can be used to locate a specific work. The images may be used in unaltered form for non-commercial educational purposes, as long as the artist and museum website address are cited.
Selected galleries:
- Photography


The Museum of Modern Art (New York) has many images of pieces in their collection on view through their website. The images can be browsed by artist, work, or keyword or searched using an advanced search feature. Images are free to use for educational use as long as users meet fair use requirements. See full image use policy.
Selected galleries:
- Photography

Museum of Fine Arts

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston has digital images of over 300,000 pieces from their collection available on their website. The collection can be browsed or browsed or searched, or viewed through interactive tours. A feature called MyMFA allows you to bookmark images to a free account for future use. Images from the website are free to use for educational purposes. See image use policy.
Selected galleries:
- Meiji-era Photographs
- Photographs

NYPL Digital Gallery

The New York Public Library Digital Gallery provides access to over 550,000 images digitized from primary sources and printed rarities in the collections of The New York Public Library, including illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints and photographs, illustrated books, printed ephemera, and more. Most of the works are in the public domain and the photographs provided can be used for educational purposes, though a fee is required for using the images for commercial use.
Selected galleries:
- Pageant of America Photo Archive
- New York Photos by Berenice Abbott, 1935-1938
- Civil War Medical Care Photographs
- Lewis Wickes Hine: Documentary Photographs, 1905-1938
- Photographic View of New York City, 1870s-1970s
- Russia and Eastern Europe in Rare Photographs, 1860-1945
- Cabinet Card Portraits
- Woman Suffrage Photographs

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons is a huge media repository maintained by volunteers. The website has hundreds of thousands of files of images, sounds, and videos for many disciplines. The Art section allows you to browse images from various access points, such as country, culture, genre, period, artist, collectors, etc. Navigation through the various links of the site can be time-consuming, so if you are searching for a specific artwork or artist it would be best to use the search feature (since images are hidden until you get to the most specific category). All of the media files on the site are supposed to be available for educational use-- the specific license conditions of each file can be found on their description pages.
Selected galleries:
- Photography
- History of Photography
- Macro Photography
- Photographers
- Stereoscopy