More and more museums are posting their collections online and Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum is no exception.
In fact, they've gone above and beyond. Instead of just posting some high quality images, they're enabling online visitors to not only download the photos but modify them as well.
That's right, using the tools provided, you can clip, manipulate, or modify any one of the works available on the so-called Rijksstudio.
Then, you can share it with your social networks or print it out to create t-shirts, tattoos, and even toilet paper.
The only thing you can't do is use the photos commercially unless you choose the purchase a high resolution version of the image.
The museum's goal is to add 40,000 images to the Rijksstudio each year until all of the one million artworks housed in the museum are available to the public.
Most museums are very precious with quality digital versions of the pieces in their collections. In this age of the internet, it's very difficult to maintain control over your copyright. The advantage the Rijksmuseum has over other museums on the same mission is that much of the Rijksmuseum collection predates Dutch copyright laws, meaning that most of the works are in the public domain.
As Taco Dibbits, director of collections at the Rijksmuseum, asserted in an interview, since the museum is a public institution, the objects and artwork housed there belongs to everyone. And that includes the general public. It's only right that we have access to these works of art as well.
Over two million visitors have logged into the Rijksstudio since the free service went online in October 2012. So far, a total of 125,000 works featured at the Rijksmuseum have been made available to Rijksstudio users.
The Rijksmuseum collection spans eight centuries and includes masterpieces by the likes of Vermeer, Rembrandt, Mondrian, and Van Gogh.
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