Thursday, 28 August 2014
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Rijksmuseum gives away rights-free images of its collection

If you don’t live in The Netherlands, which many of you won’t, you might want to take advantage of Dutch museum the Rijksmuseum’s new rights-free online presentation of 125,000 objects.

Images from the Rijksmuseum collection used to create paint job

Images from the Rijksmuseum collection used to create paint job

Online visitors are able to explore works, create personalised collections, share images, and download high-resolution images for personal use.

Remarkably the service Rijks Studio lets you do what you like with them. The museum says, ‘Rijks Studio is actively encouraging visitors to get creative and become artists in their own right by downloading exceptionally high quality images for free and to manipulate them in any way they like.

Tattoo by Droog Design inspired by 17th century still life

Tattoo by Droog Design inspired by 17th century still life

 ‘This is a unique proposition, with an incredibly simple interface so that it can be used by anyone around the world, and by young and old alike.’

Rijkmuseum wants artists and designers to take inspiration from the collection. To get things going it’s looked to Dutch studio Droog Design which has produced a transfer tattoo based on a 16-century flower painting, and to fashion designer Alexander van Slobbe who has designed a silk scarf which references several pieces from the museum. The results can be seen here:   www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/rijksstudio

Silkscarfby Alexandervan Slobbe

Silkscarfby Alexandervan Slobbe

Meanwhile video artist and designer Christian Borstlap has produced a film using etchings from the collection, and this will be unveiled on the site soon, along with works by ‘other leading artists from the international creative community,’ according to the museum.

If this all seems a bit too good to be true the museum makes it clear in no uncertain terms that, ‘Users can have prints made of entire works of art or details from them. Other suggestions for the use of images include creating material to upholster furniture or wallpaper, or to decorate a car or an iPad cover for example.’
 We’d suggest you get creative before they realise what they’ve done.

For commercial use the museum says ‘people should contact the photo department of the Rijkmuseum.’

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