Blank walls, empty frames
June 30, 2009 12:31 AM   Subscribe

Where, online, can I find photographs and scans of classical Asian and Middle Eastern art? Specifically, where can I find images that I could ethically and practically print and hang in small frames above my desk?

I'm no expert and I realise this is a big field, but I really love Islamic and Asian art. Mughal miniatures, Chinese brush paintings, Japanese woodblock prints - they remind me of my globe-trotting grandmother's house.

There's no room in my budget for actually buying art right now, but I do have a printer and some good paper. Can you recommend a source for out-of-copyright art that I can print?

I really don't want to infringe copyright or commit glaring cultural gaffes, so please don't jump on me for wanting to do this. I'd prefer sources where the art is presented in context so I can learn about its history as I search.
posted by embrangled to Media & Arts (9 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Wikimedia Commons; you want to look for high-resolution images, of course - make sure you're looking at the "Full resolution" version of the file if there is one. Also many of them will indicate that they're from another online source so you can find more leads this way.
posted by XMLicious at 12:41 AM on June 30, 2009 [1 favorite]

There's no room in my budget for actually buying art right now, but I do have a printer and some good paper.

Not sure if a self-link would be OK here (mods delete if this is not cool ...), but I have a page on my site aimed at exactly that purpose, with dozens of downloadable images of traditional Japanese prints, ready for you to print out for your own use. Download page is here.
posted by woodblock100 at 1:07 AM on June 30, 2009 [18 favorites]

Holy flying shitballs David, those prints are _amazing_. That's a metafilter post right there.

Not Cool? Au contraire that's the coolest thing I've seen this week!

Original poster: this link might be of use.
posted by smoke at 3:43 AM on June 30, 2009

Woodblock, your prints are fantastic.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 6:05 AM on June 30, 2009

Yeah woodblock, your site easily meets the "best of the web" standard.
posted by General Tonic at 6:43 AM on June 30, 2009

Islamic Interlace Patterns [wikipedia]
Islamic & Arabic Design study notes
Generate Islamic Patterns - a java applet I just found that looks interesting...
Grammar of Ornament Pt. I - I found some awesome patterns here.
25 sites for free vector files
posted by jacquilinala at 8:14 AM on June 30, 2009

The post on woodblock100 is right here.
posted by rtha at 8:31 AM on June 30, 2009

woodblock100: gasp. Just gasp. Thank you so very much!
posted by jfuller at 10:43 AM on June 30, 2009

The other commenters' reactions pretty much sum up how I felt when I found David's site. But I never knew about this download page! How wonderful until I can save up to buy an album of my own.
posted by ocherdraco at 11:19 AM on June 30, 2009

« Older Looking for a flat sippy cup   |   A Country House (Moving to England) Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.