When The Met was founded in 1870, it owned not a single work of art. Through the combined efforts of generations of curators, researchers, and collectors, our collection has grown to represent more than 5,000 years of art from across the globe—from the first cities of the ancient world to the works of our time.
Welcome to 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.
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Explore thousands of artworks in the museum’s wide-ranging collection—from our world-renowned icons to lesser-known gems from every corner of the globe—as well as our books, writings, reference materials, and other resources.
There’s an old saw about the web that says that when the web democratized publishing, everyone should have become a writer, but instead most of us became consumers. (Nevermind that email and SMS have most people writing more in a day than their Victorian ancestors wrote in their entire lives.) There’s more than a hint of disparagement and elitism in that saying: everyone should have taken up writing, which is obviously superior to reading or watching or (gasp!) consuming. And I worry that that same sentiment creeps in when we argue the supremacy of text over image on the web. Writing is an important and valuable skill, but so are many other things.
Here’s another way to think about it: over the past year, video after video has emerged showing cops shooting unarmed black people. Those videos have been shared on the web, and while they haven’t yet led to anything resembling justice for the victims, they have contributed to profound discussions around race, militarized police forces, guns, and more. They are not sufficient to bring about desperately needed social change—and there’s an argument to be made about whether they are at risk of becoming mere spectacle—but I think it would be hard to deny that they are an important element in the movement, that they have had a major impact.
I worry that the push to keep the web defined to words, while pragmatic and reasonable in many ways, may also be used to decide what stories get told, and what stories are heard. Many more people are using their tiny computers to record video and audio and take pictures than are writing; as much as I may love writing, and as much as I know that transmitting writing via cables and air is a hell of a lot easier and cheaper than transmitting video, I’m not sure I can really stand here and say that the writing is—or should be—primary.
One of the design principles of the web is to pave the cowpaths: it looks to me like there are some new paths opening up, ones we may not have expected, ones that aren’t going to make many of our jobs easier. Maybe instead of putting up signs saying there are better paths elsewhere, it’s time we see where these ones take us.
Ann Robson: Progressive jpegs: a new best practice (Performance Calendar)
And even though not all current browsers make use of progressive jpeg’s progressive rendering, the ones that do really benefit, and we get file size savings across the board. It’s our best option today and we should use it. Progressive jpegs are the future, not the past.
This is fun to browse through. "From an initial gift of eight prints and one drawing, The Museum of Modern Art's collection has grown to include 150,000 paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, architectural models and drawings, and design objects. MoMA also owns some 22,000 films, videos, and media works, as well as film stills, scripts, posters and historical documents. The Museum's Library contains 300,000 books, artist books, and periodicals, and the Museum Archives holds approximately 2,500 linear feet of historical documentation and a photographic archive of tens of thousands of photographs, including installation views of exhibitions and images of the Museum's building and grounds."
CSS-Tricks: Color Rendering Difference: Firefox vs. Safari
"The purpose of these color profiles is something I could into another time, but the important thing to remember to avoid problems like Norm's is to make sure all your images were exported in the same way and so they either don't have a color profile or all have the same color profile. This will ensure that the site, at least color-wise, renders the same from browser to browser."