Rijksmusem Launches 125,000 Image Digital Collection

Rijksmusem Launches 125,000 Image Digital Collection

Posted by Carly B. Boxer on November 2, 2012 in Blog.

Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, although partially closed until April 2013 due to renovations, has recently launched its digital collection. “Rijksstudio,” the 125,000 work collection, provides access to some of the museum’s most famous paintings (including Rembrandt’s “The Night Watch,” and Vermeer’s “The Milkmaid”), and also allows users to explore lesser known objects (like an early 20th century airplane). Users can build their own collection by choosing works or cutting out details from works and adding them to personal Rijksstudio collections, or sharing them on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

Rijksstudio encourages users to browse the collection based on artist, style, or subject, with subjects ranging from “Asian Gods” to “Imaginary Creatures.” Users can also look at collection highlights, or at “Stories” which include images of Dutch historical figures and a timeline of Dutch history illustrated with images from the collection.

According to artdaily.org, the Rijksmuseum’s Director of Collections Taco Dibbits said “we created Rijksstudio based on the belief that the collection of the Rijksmuseum belongs to us all. The collection inspires, we want to unleash the artist in everyone.” Therefore Rijksstudio encourages users to reclaim and remix its images in any way imaginable. The images are all printable and hi-resolution, and the museum provides both the means and the inspiration to turn Rijksstudio images into something new. The site features images of motor scooters detailed with imagery Japanese woodblock prints, and iPhone cases depicting lush naval war scenes next to links to sites that convert Rijksstudio images into household goods.

Users can also register with the site to access the Rijksstudio API, with metadata for 111,000 of the site’s images. The Rijksmusem also links users to a number of other apps and websites that use the API in order to prompt app development using the Rijksmuseum’s collection.

Image: “Stilleven met vegulda bokaal” by Willem Claez. Heda, Courtesy of Rijksstudio.


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