There are many works of art that can be used without having to worry about copyright, they are in the public domain. The reason may be diverse, related both to the age of the work and to the decisions of the copyright owners who have decided to renounce them.
The fact is that not all works of art can be used for free to illustrate articles or transform them into the covers of our books, and now there is a search engine that helps us with this issue.
This is museum.app, a visual search engine that obtains royalty-free works from the Art Institute of Chicago, the Rijksmuseum, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, and the New York Public Library Digital Collection, although they plan to continue expanding with other sources.
The search engine has been created by Chase McCoy, who says that, although the works returned by said search engine are free, it is recommended to accredit the institution of origin.
It is enough to use a keyword, such as party (party, in English), so that we obtain the works that appear in the image above. There are paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures, books, maps and other objects that can be physically found in these museums.
The word that we have included is the one that will cross the descriptions of each work, so sometimes it is not a painting representing what we are looking for and there is some object that has some relationship with the concept. At other times it is difficult to find the relationship, but hey, in that case it is ignored and the search continues, nothing is perfect. Either way, it’s a good free image bank.
As discussed in openculture, if we search for entertainment, food, sports and even technology, we will have representations of previous centuries, since the probability of finding works of art in the public domain in recent years is much more difficult.