Réunion des Musées Nationaux

Edgar Degas, Dancer bending, 1881-1883, Photographer: Christian Jean, Musée d'Orsay. Image and original data provided by Réunion des Musées Nationaux / Art Resource, N.Y.

Artstor, the Réunion des Musées Nationaux (RMN), and Art Resource are collaborating to release approximately 14,000 images of works in the permanent collections of French national and regional museums in the Digital Library. The collection in Artstor will present high-resolution images of important works of art from antiquity to the 20th century. The majority of images will focus on works by key artists from major European schools, as well as decorative arts and furnishings from castles and royal residences throughout France. French museums with significant holdings in the arts of Asia, Africa, and Oceania will also be included. The images will be selected from the archives of the Agence photographique de la RMN, which include the collections of 28 museums in Paris and the Paris Region, such as: Musée du Louvre, Musée d'Orsay, Musée National d'Art Moderne — Centre Georges Pompidou, Musée de l'Orangerie des Tuileries, Musée des châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon, Musée des Arts Asiatiques — Guimet, Musée du Quai Branly, Musée du Moyen Âge — Thermes de Cluny, Musée Condé, Chantilly, Musée National de la Renaissance, Ecouen, Musée du château de Fontainebleau, Musée des châteaux de Malmaison et de Bois-Préau, Musée National de Céramique, Sèvres, and Musée des Antiquités Nationales, Saint-Germain en Laye. Regional museums in the French provinces will also be represented, including: Musée Bonnat, Bayonne, Musée National Magnin, Dijon, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Lille, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lyon, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nantes, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Rennes, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Rouen, and Musée des Beaux-Arts, Valenciennes, among others.

Through this partnership, RMN, Art Resource, and Artstor will make this important scholarly resource more broadly available for non-commercial, scholarly, and educational purposes. According to Dr. Thomas W. Gaehtgens, Director of the Getty Research Institute, "It will surely make an enormous difference to all scholars of French art that the RMN's collection is available on Artstor. Nostalgia for long hours spent researching in the rue de l'Abbaye in Paris will certainly be overcome as we enjoy the privilege of gaining access to this treasure from all over the world." Mark Ledbury, Associate Director of the Research and Academic Program at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, notes that "This new agreement makes available to users of Artstor a vast and important range of material in French museums. For scholars and teachers of European art, this will be an exceptional resource, especially as it will at last allow access to high quality images of works in precious storehouses, both in Paris and the provinces. Gone will be the days of relying on low resolution images of major works in these key collections."

The Réunion des Musées Nationaux is a French public industrial and commercial establishment (EPIC), under the trusteeship of the French Ministry of Culture and Communication. RMN was founded in 1895 to raise and administer the funds required to acquire works for France's national collections of art. Today, RMN works with 32 museums and 2 exhibition venues (Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais and the Palais de la Porte Dorée in Paris) to acquire works of art, organize exhibitions, publish catalogs and monographs, distribute editorial and commercial products, and promote the museums' collections. The Agence photographique de la Réunion des Musées Nationaux produces the inventory of the French museums' permanent collections and conducts annual photographic campaigns on behalf of museums and other institutions. It is the leading photo agency in France and one of the top 10 in the world in the field of visual arts and museums. The RMN photo agency distributes a catalog of approximately one million images, more than 440,000 of which are available in an online archive. In addition to French museums, RMN has partnered with foreign museums (The British Museum, The National Gallery of Art, London, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York) and photo agencies (Alinari Archives and Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz) to distribute their image collections worldwide.

Art Resource is the exclusive representative for RMN in North America. Established in 1968, Art Resource is the world's largest stock photo archive of fine art, serving as the principal source of fine art images for commercial and scholarly publications in the United States. It also functions as the official rights and permissions representative for a wide range of museums and visual arts archives around the world.