Les collections d’art des musées du Smithsonian Institute bientôt en ligne

La Freer Gallery of Art et la Arthur M. Sackler Gallery du Smithsonian Institute (Washington, D.C.) mettront en ligne au 1er janvier 2015 la totalité de leurs collections d’art asiatique et américain.

the freer and sackler galleriesThe Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the Smithsonian’s museums of Asian art, will release their entire collections online Jan. 1, 2015, providing unprecedented access to one of the world’s most important holdings of Asian and American art. The vast majority of the 40,000 artworks have never before been seen by the public, and more than 90 percent of the images will be in high resolution and without copyright restrictions for noncommercial use.

The Freer and Sackler galleries are the first Smithsonian and the only Asian art museums to digitize and release their entire collections, and in so doing join just a handful of museums in the U.S. […]

In the initial release, each work will be represented by one or more stunningly detailed images at the highest possible resolution, with complex items such as albums and manuscripts showing the most important pages. In addition, some of the most popular images will also be available for download as free computer, smartphone and social media backgrounds. Future iterations plan to offer additional functionality like sharing, curation and community-based research.

The museum’s masterpieces range in time from the Neolithic to the present day, featuring especially fine groupings of Chinese jades and bronzes, Islamic art, Chinese paintings and masterworks from ancient Persia. Currently, the collection boasts 1,806 American art objects, 1,176 ancient Egyptian objects, 2,076 ancient Near Eastern objects, 10,424 Chinese objects, 2,683 Islamic objects, 1,213 South and Southeast Asian objects and smaller groupings of Korean, Armenian, Byzantine, Greek and Roman works. In addition, the Freer Study Collection—more than 10,000 objects used by scholars around the world for scientific research and reference—will be viewable for the first time.

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Monique Abud

Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

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