Using Images

Obtaining Images

Thousands of images of works in the Gallery’s collection believed to be in the public domain are available for free download through the Gallery’s website. Under Yale University’s Open Access Policy, anyone may use the Gallery’s open-access material without further application, authorization, or fees due to the Gallery or to Yale.

To download open-access images, search the collection and simply click the “download” link beneath the display image in the individual object record.

To request an image of a work that is not illustrated online, is under copyright, or to request digital files in sizes or formats beyond those offered through the website, you may submit an electronic request by completing our online Request for Photography form.

Identifying Open-Access Works and Images

Building on Yale’s commitment to open access, if a work is believed to be in the public domain and free of other restrictions, digital images of the work are made available for download through the Gallery’s online collection. On each object record for which digital images exist, the rights status or rights holder is listed immediately under the main image, on the left-hand side of the page. Visit the Rights and Reproductions page for more information on the rights status of each work and how available images may be used. If the work is in the public domain and images can be downloaded, a download link will appear beneath the image.

The Gallery’s online collection features nearly 154,000 works of art that comply with International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) requirements. IIIF is a technology framework that supports enriched image use, allowing for comparison, manipulation, and annotation of images within and across participating institutions. The IIIF Consortium consists of many of the world’s leading libraries, museums, universities, research institutions, and image repositories, which collaborate on sharing rich and uniform access to image-based resources on the web.

Works and Images with Restrictions

Not every work of art in the Gallery’s collection is in the public domain, nor is every image on the Gallery’s site free of restrictions. The Gallery is mindful of its responsibilities concerning the intellectual property rights of others, and the museum works to protect images of objects that are believed to be under copyright, to have content protected under rights of publicity or privacy, or to have other restrictions imposed by contract or policy.

The copyright of a work of art itself is distinct from any rights of the photograph/digital image depicting the work (where applicable) and may be held by individuals or entities other than the Gallery. For example, the copyright of a work of art may be held or managed by the artist or the artist’s heirs or representative(s), not by the Gallery.

The Gallery makes available for download presentation sized images of artwork it has determined to be an “Orphan work”. In spite of one’s best efforts, it may be difficult or impossible to locate the owner of copyright in a work. This may be because the work is anonymous, the company that owned copyright is defunct, it is impossible to trace copyright through multiple bequests and transmissions, or because the copyright owner’s identity is known but the owner or the owner’s representative cannot be located. These items are commonly referred to as “Orphan works.” If you are the representative for any artist identified as an “Orphan work” please contact the Rights and Reproductions office.

Thumbnail-sized images of copyrighted works are displayed under fair use. As a service to the public and the scholarly community, the Gallery may make larger images of copyrighted works available in the online collection catalogue with permission of the copyright holder. If you wish to use such images outside the online catalogue you must seek permission from the copyright holder.

In addition, the Gallery reserves any applicable rights in the photography of its facilities, installations, events, employees, and guests created or commissioned by Gallery staff.

Many of our contemporary works are represented by the Artist Rights Society (ARS).


All the information necessary for the proper citation of the Gallery’s works is available in the object records on this site. We encourage users to identify works from our collection and to provide an image credit to the Yale University Art Gallery so that others may find and use our resources.

Apart from the above, you may not suggest or imply the Gallery’s endorsement of your publication or project, nor use the Gallery or Yale University’s trademarks without permission.

If a work or a photographic image is still protected by copyright, you must cite the relevant copyright information when using the image and comply with all other terms or restrictions that may be applicable to that material.

Whenever possible, the Gallery provides factual information about copyright owners and related matters pertaining to its materials. Please contact the Gallery if you have more information about any such material, or, if you are the copyright owner and believe the website has not properly attributed your work or has used it without your authorization:

Rights and Reproductions
Yale University Art Gallery


The Gallery cannot guarantee the availability of images for every work in our collection; works or their images may be unavailable due to condition, location, exhibition, collection priorities, copyright, or other restrictions.

Any statement on the public domain status of a work is made by the Gallery in good faith. While the Gallery makes every effort to accurately determine the rights status of works and their images, this information is provided without any warranty. As an end user, you are solely responsible for the download or use of any images from the Gallery’s site. It is your responsibility to verify or accept any rights information provided as well as to obtain any additional permission or clearances that may be required for works protected by copyright.

If you have any questions regarding the rights status of a work of art or images on the Gallery’s website, or have any information on the rights status of a work contrary or in addition to the information in our records, contact the Rights and Reproductions department.

Revised: April 2016

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    To contact a staff member or department, check the Gallery’s directory.