Image and Data Services

The Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) is one of the world’s most distinguished comprehensive art museums and one of northeastern Ohio’s principal civic and cultural institutions. Works in its collection span cultures, historical periods, art movements and styles. Services detailed here are provided by The Cleveland Museum of Art with respect to images, portions of metadata and software as pertains to its collections, exhibitions, research and provenance.  

Image and Data from The Cleveland Museum of Art are offered under two categories: 

  • Open Access with Creative Commons: images, data and software CMA believes to be in the public domain, or that which CMA waives any copyright it might have 
  • Copyright, Proprietary Rights and Other Restricted: images and data CMA knows to be under copyright or other restrictions  

The Cleveland Museum of Art initiated its Open Access program with Creative Commons designations on January 23, 2019. This change in policy demonstrates CMA's commitment to serving its mission to "create transformative experiences through art, 'for the benefit of all the people forever' " in the 21st century and beyond.  

Open Access with Creative Commons  

Open Access images and data with the designation of Creative Commons Zero (CC0) may be used and modified free-of-charge for both commercial and non-commercial purposes without the prior consent or permission of CMA. Open Access is delineated using Creative Commons legal tools and icons associated with the work. Creative Commons helps entities like CMA legally share knowledge and creativity to build a more accessible and innovative world.  

CMA dedicates the following Images and Data to the public domain with Creative Commons Zero (CC0) by waiving all rights to work worldwide as to the extent allowed by law. Content designated as CC0 does not require attribution.:  

  • images of public domain artworks 
  • portions of metadata associated with public domain artworks 
  • portions of metadata of works whose images and underlying rights are restricted under copyright 
  • code of its software for CMA’s collection API

Images and portions of metadata offered with CC0 may be accessed on CMA's website, its subdomains, including via an application programming interface (API) and GitHub repository, as well Third-Party applications. Data on the GitHub repository is made available in the .CSV and. JSON formats. CMA does not guarantee availability of the service or accuracy of the Content nor provide technical support in connection with CMA API. Development, ongoing maintenance or other issues may cause the API to not be available at times. Users are encouraged to refresh API data regularly for the most updated content available; information may change and CMA may add to, delete, or otherwise modify content. 

Copyright, Proprietary Rights and Other Restricted 

Images not identified as Open Access with Creative Commons, may be used only for limited non-commercial, educational, and personal use, or for fair use as defined within the applicable United States Copyright Laws. Data not available with CC0 is not available for request.  

Images of works of art not available with CC0 can be requested through Image and Data Services. To request a digital image please first search for the object in CMA’s collections online. Existing digital images will be provided for a $75 processing fee. Images requiring new photography or other content requests may incur additional fees.  Anyone wishing to use any images and data that are copyrighted, has proprietary rights or is otherwise restricted must request and receive prior written permission from CMA. CMA reviews all written requests and permission may be granted on a case-by-case basis at the sole discretion of CMA. Requests for images that are not Open Access with Creative Commons must be submitted through the Image Services request form.  

Please note, permissions for image and data that is not Open Access with Creative Commons may need to be secured from Third-Party rights holders. Certain works of art, as well as images of those works of art, may be protected by copyright, trademark, or related interests not owned by CMA. The responsibility for ascertaining whether any such rights exist and for obtaining all other necessary permissions remains solely with the user and CMA will have no responsibility in connection with securing such necessary rights. 

Reproduction of any images © Artists Rights Society (ARS) or © VAGA is prohibited without written authorization from the following:

Artists Rights Society (ARS) 
536 Broadway, 5th Floor 
New York, NY 10012 

Tel: 212-420-9160 
Fax: 212-420-9286 

Contact information  

For questions about Open Access with Creative Commons, Copyrighted, Proprietary Rights, or Otherwise Restricted content, please contact imageservices [at] clevelandart.org. For requests, use the request form.