Art

Celebrate Black History Month with Over 2,000 Free Images

The Smithsonian National Museum collections offer public domain resources for you to use

The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the most important museum dedicated to African American history, life, and culture. With over 36 thousand artifacts, it provides an exciting opportunity to explore through interactive exhibitions.

As a public institution in the US, and part of the Smithsonian National Museum, it’s open to collaborations and participation from the public.

Celebrate Black History Month with Over 2,000 Free Images 1
Photograph of Billie Holiday, by Robin Carson, ca. 1940. NMAAHC
Celebrate Black History Month with Over 2,000 Free Images 2
Photographic print of Ethel Waters as Carmen, by Carl van Vechten, 1934. NMAAHC

That’s why the Museum launched its Open Access feature, where you can search, explore and reuse thousands of digital assets.

The items in the Open Access collection function under a Creative Commons Zero license, so you can freely use, share and transform the images without permission from the museum.

Celebrate Black History Month with Over 2,000 Free Images 4
Poster for Ebony Parade by Astor Pictures, 1947. NMAAHC
Celebrate Black History Month with Over 2,000 Free Images 5
Flyer Advertising an Evening with Angela Davis, 1972. NMAAHC
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Sign from Women’s March on Washington with “I Stand with…”, 2017. NMAAHC

Find over 2 thousand 2D and 3D images in collections that include topics like sports, photography, art, civil rights, war, fashion, music, mass media, or abolitionism.

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Pinback button with “I Believe Anita Hill”, 1991. NMAAHC
Celebrate Black History Month with Over 2,000 Free Images 9
Black t-shirt printed with “Black Lives Matter” by Gemrock, 2015. NMAAHC

Visit the Open Access Collection here to find the free resources, and make sure to visit some of the other collections here.

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Ticket to a championship boxing match between Muhammad Ali and Ken Norton, 1976. NMAAHC
Celebrate Black History Month with Over 2,000 Free Images 12
Pair of Air Jordan I shoes game worn and autographed by Michael Jordan (Nike). NMAAHC
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