In the U.S. the Smithsonian Institution has created an Open Access resource of staggering diversity.

Swiss/German side chair, late 17thC – early 18thC – Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

“Smithsonian Open Access, where you can download, share, and reuse millions of the Smithsonian’s images—right now, without asking. With new platforms and tools, you have easier access to nearly 3 million 2D and 3D digital items from our collections—with many more to come. This includes images and data from across the Smithsonian’s 19 museums, nine research centers, libraries, archives, and the National Zoo”.

Source: https://www.si.edu/openaccess

As always with Open Access resources, despite millions of electronic artifacts in the Public Domain on the Smithsonian web pages, some do have license/usage restrictions. Always check before use!

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, Gift of Joseph H. Hirshhorn, 1966

For the inquisitive, there is a wealth of subject matter and themes to explore on the Smithsonian pages. Whether your interest is art, ceramics, photography, science or zoology…there will be a reservoir of interesting items to peruse.

A search of the archive for ‘film’ produces a delightful range of posters, lobby cards and images of garments worn in Hollywood movies.

See an example search here.

This is a creative archive in the public domain, bar none. It is easy, even in a short time, to find resources that can inspire your next creative project.

We recommend a visit to the Smithsonian.