TMA Copyright Policy
If a work was created by an entity that is no longer living and has been deceased for more than 70 years, that work is believed to be in the public domain and free of other restrictions, according to US copyright law. These images are considered to be fair use and are made freely available and downloadable for personal use. Fair use includes educational use, scholarly opinion, criticism or commentary, and research.
However, not every work of art and its images in TMA’s collection is in the public domain nor free of restrictions. TMA works to protect images of objects that are believed to be under copyright to insure that others’ intellectual property rights are protected. This is why some of the images are not downloadable or intended for third-party use.
The works of art in the collection and also the photographs of the works may both be copyright controlled by individuals or entities other than TMA. Often, that entity is the artist, the artist’s heirs or representative(s), or a rights agency.
Two commonly used rights-management agencies who manage artists’ rights and estates are:
Artist Rights Society
Visual Artists and Galleries Association
In spite of one’s best efforts, it may be difficult or impossible to locate the owner of copyright in a work. This is frequently because the work’s creator is anonymous, the company that owned copyright is inactive, or because the copyright owner’s identity is known but the owner or the owner’s representative cannot be located. These items are commonly referred to as “Orphan works.” If you are the representative for any artist or know the representative of a work identified as an “Orphan work,” please contact the Rights and Reproductions Department.
TMA makes available for download free presentation-sized images, in accordance with guidelines recommended by the College Art Associations Code of Best Practices in the Visual Arts, February 2015 and The Association of Art Museum Directors Guidelines for the Use of Copyrighted Materials and Works of Art by Art Museums, October 2017.
If you wish to use such images for profit, merchandise, or other uses not deemed to be fair use, you must seek permission from the copyright holder in addition to requesting an image from TMA.
If a work or an image is still protected by copyright, you must cite the relevant copyright information when using the image and comply with all other terms or restrictions that may be applicable to that material. For images from the TMA collection, it is also helpful to identify the Toledo Museum of Art as the image’s owner so that others may find and use our resources too.
Please contact TMA if you have more information about any such material, or, if you are the copyright owner and believe the website has not properly attributed your work or has used it without your authorization.
We strongly recommend the use of TMA’s own images of its collection over those from other sources because we are unable to vouch for the accuracy or quality of images obtained from other sources.
TMA cannot guarantee the availability of images for every work in our collection; works or their images may be unavailable due to condition, location, exhibition, collection priorities, copyright, or other restrictions.
As an end user of downloaded images, it is your responsibility to verify or accept any rights information provided as well as to obtain any additional permission or clearances that may be required for works protected by copyright. Images downloaded for any purpose other than fair use need to be requested from our Rights and Reproductions Department.
If you have any questions regarding the rights status of a work of art or images on TMA’s website, or have any additional information on the rights status of a work, please contact the Rights and Reproductions Department.
If you are a news source seeking images for media purposes, please contact our Marketing and Communications Department.