10 fantastic open access Indian heritage collections
India’s remarkable cultural heritage features in the collections of museums around the world. Here are ten of our favourite open access digital collections — free to download, reuse and remix to your heart’s content. If we missed any, let us know in the comments!
1 . The Cleveland Museum of Art
The Cleveland Museum of Art’s Indian and Southeast Asian collection
is celebrated nationally and internationally. It comprises three broad areas: India proper, the Himalayas, and Southeast Asia, and the collection covers the period of the entire artistic activity on the Indian subcontinent from the earliest (Neolithic) period until the 20th century.
2 . The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art devotes some 64,500 square feet of gallery space to the presentation of Asian Art
, including paintings, calligraphy, prints, sculptures, metalwork, ceramics, lacquers, works of decorative art, and textiles from East Asia, the Indian subcontinent, the Himalayan kingdoms, and Southeast Asia.
3. Wellcome Collection
London’s Wellcome Collection is a free museum and library that aims to challenge how we all think and feel about health. Wellcome is one of the UK’s most progressive open access institutions and holds an extensive archive of material relating to Indian history and culture. From Company School-paintings to photochromes, there is a range of art to explore.
4. Brooklyn Museum
Brooklyn Museum is a longstanding advocate of open access (AKA ‘Open GLAM’) and the free exchange of cultural heritage and ideas among people of diverse beliefs, cultures, and experiences.
5. Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery (Smithsonian)
In early 2020, the Smithsonian Open Access launched to great acclaim. Amongst the millions of open access collections and data released by the Smithsonian are Indian collections from the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery.
6. New York Public Library
In 2016, the New York Public Library released over 1,800,000 items in the public domain. The Indian collection features books, photographs and cartographic collections, and depictions of birds!
7. Yale Center for British Art
A Punca Bearer
(undated) Sir Charles D’ Oyly 1781–1845, British, active in India , Yale Center for British Art, CC0
This public art museum focuses on the study of British art and culture. Take a look at Indian landscapes and people through the eyes of travelling artists, East India Company officials, and more.
8. Art Institute of Chicago
In 2018, the Art Institute of Chicago released more than 40,000 artworks under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license
. These include a sizeable South Asian collection with works ranging from Gandhara sculptures to Miniatures and Company paintings from the 19th century Fraser album.
9. Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
The LACMA collection features more than 1000 Indian art objects ranging from sculpture to textiles and photographs. These objects are released under CC0 license.
10. DAG Museums
We hope you will consider using these open-collections to create a story (in a format of your choice) & share it with us for the Digital Storytelling Festival. Submissions are open till June 15, 2021.
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