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).