Mark Harden's Artchive: Artchive

The Artchive includes both public domain and copyrighted works of art. The copyrighted works are presented under the Fair Use Provision of the Copyright Act. Holders of image copyrights are highly encouraged to provide me contact information, so that I may properly refer the many requests for licensing, evaluations, original artwork availability, etc. that I receive. My goal is to assure that the site helps copyright owners to realize financial benefit from the availability of their images in The Artchive.

Please familiarize yourself with the limitations on use of the images, constraints on linking to the images, and the definitions of copyright, public domain and Fair Use. Further information is available online at various web resources.


You are free to use up to five or six images from the site for any personal non-profit, educational purpose. This would primarily be your personal home page, but could also be, for example, one-time use for an offline presentation. I ask that you provide credit to "Mark Harden" as the source for each scan. If the images are used on a web site, please display the credit in the form of a link to my site, i.e. "Scan by <A HREF="" >Mark Harden</A>".


It is imperative that you do NOT link directly to the JPG images. You must download each image used and host it on your own web space, with credit and link as described above. If it is completely impossible for you to host the images, then you can contact me for permission to link to the HTML file at The Artchive. This will ensure that the text description, and, in some cases, copyright information, is displayed along with the image. Thanks for your consideration.


First, a disclaimer that I am not an intellectual property attorney, and the information below is just what I have informally learned regarding copyright of art images...

Art copyright falls into two categories under the Berne Convention, copyrighted works and public domain works:

If the artist is alive or has been dead less than seventy years all rights to reproductions of his or her work reside with the artist or estate. A couple of good starting points for obtaining rights are:

Artists Rights Society
65 Bleecker Street
New York, NY 10012
(212) 420-9160

Visual Artists and Galleries Association, Inc.
350 Fifth Avenue Suite 6305
New York, New York 10018
(212) 736-6666
(212) 736-6767 Fax


As stated above, the copyrighted works displayed in The Artchive are presented under the Fair Use Provision of the Copyright Act. This Provision states (I have included parenthetical remarks to illustrate how The Artchive complies with the different factors):
"§107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair Use

"Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include -

"1.the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;"

[The copyrighted artists in The Artchive are presented for educational purposes, including teaching, scholarship and research. As stated above, I endeavor to provide contact information for owners of the copyright so they will be the sole beneficiaries of any commercial opportunities that may arise from the inclusion of these images in The Artchive.

Excerpts from books are presented for purposes of criticism and comment. In these cases, I have supplied a link to for interested visitors to purchase the excerpted book online.]

"2.the nature of the copyrighted work;

"3.the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole;"

[Even the most heavily represented artists, such as Picasso, include only a minute percentage of their body of work. For the book excerpts, only as much text is presented to illustrate the quality of the writing, and to encourage the visitor to purchase the book to read the rest for himself.]


"4.the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work."

[The low resolution (72 dpi) JPG images in The Artchive are entirely unsuitable for printed reproduction, and as such provide no competition for licensed, high resolution images of the copyrighted images. To the contrary, the availability of these images online often results in requests for licensing information, reproductions, and even original artwork, all of which result in increased revenue for the copyright holders. For the book excerpts, as stated above, the selections are overtly intended to encourage the visitor to purchase the book for further reading.]

"The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors."


If the artist has been dead more than seventy years, his or her work is in the public domain. I recommend you contact Bridgeman Art Library or Art Resource/Scala Group. Since many works are carried by both companies, you can see which offers the best licensing deal. Here are their descriptions of their services and their web addresses:

The Bridgeman Art Library is the world's most comprehensive source of fine art images for reproduction. Our international collection currently represents more than 1000 museums, galleries and contemporary artists and is growing daily to provide you with inspiring images, from the world's greatest masterpieces to previously unpublished treasures.

Art Resource is one of the world's largest and most comprehensive stock photo archives singularly devoted to fine art. We have access to over 3 million images ranging in time periods from the prehistoric to the present and from practically every location around the world.

Scala Group. For non-US visitors who wish to reproduce images displayed in, we suggest you contact Scala Group, Florence, Italy, which offers imagery of the main museums and art sites from all over the world. The quality of its color reproductions, as well as the comprehensiveness of its holdings, which are keyworded in depth, make Scala unique. The website is updated every week with hundreds of new pictures and provides information on the art world (anniversaries, exhibitions ect.) as well as inspiring portfolios. Scala has a multilingual staff in Florence, Italy, and offices in England and France.

Please see Scala’s web site in English, French and Italian at:

e-mail or please see

It is also suggested that U.S. users contact Art Resource (see above) which represents Scala Group in the United States.


The best web sites I have seen for copyright information are Benedict O'Mahoney's The Copyright Website and NPC's "Patents, Trademarks & Copyrights".

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