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AMICO article in the nytimes

Of interest to image licesensing institutions is the possibility that 
AMICO and ArtStor may be merged under ArtStor's direction.  See the 
completely article in the New York Times at:



Far-Flung Artworks, Side by Side Online

GIFT shops and poster stores often claim to sell "museum-quality 
reproductions" of important artworks. But the Amico Library, an 
Internet archive with digital copies of more than 100,000 paintings, 
sculptures and photographs, can use the phrase without fear of 
contradiction. The online library is the result of an unusual 
collaboration of 39 museums, from goliaths like the Metropolitan Museum 
of Art to smaller institutions like the Newark Museum, that supply the 
library with images far more vivid and detailed than those typically 
found on the Web.

As members of the Art Museum Image Consortium, or Amico, the museums 
are responsible for stocking the library with high-resolution digital 
duplicates of artworks from their permanent collections. Although 
anyone visiting the library's site (www .amico.org) can search a 
database of thumbnail-size images and brief catalog descriptions, only 
educational subscribers have access to larger, more detailed images and 
the most up-to-date curatorial documentation. Some images are even 
accompanied by explanatory audio or video clips.


Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of Amico, though, is that the 
nonprofit venture is almost self-sufficient. During the dot-com boom, 
many museums considered entrepreneurial ventures in which the Internet 
could be used to generate income. Few, if any, succeeded. But Amico, 
online since 1999, has already enrolled 285 colleges and universities 
as subscribers, as well as hundreds of public libraries and middle and 
high schools. With an annual budget of $750,000, Amico plans to break 
even this year, an executive said, and may abolish dues for museums in 
the near future. 

Now, like a painting whose surging value has caught the eye of a 
wealthy collector, Amico has attracted a deep-pocketed suitor in 
ARTstor (www.artstor.org), a nonprofit venture that plans to build its 
own database of digitized artworks and is supported by the Andrew W. 
Mellon Foundation. 

This month Amico board members voted to accept an ARTstor proposal that 
would merge the two institutions under ARTstor's direction. How the two 
initiatives will be combined is still being worked out, but James L. 
Shulman, the executive director of ARTstor, said, "We have zero 
interest in making Amico go away."


So the archive can become more comprehensive, the museums taking part, 
mostly in North America, must contribute at least 500 images apiece 
from their collections each year.


Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company 

Of interest, forwarded to me by Pam Patterson; note the tidbit that AMICO and ArtStor are going to be merged under ArtStor's direction.

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Date: Thu, 22 May 2003 13:47:19 -0400
To: Katherine Haskins <katherine.haskins@yale.edu>
From: Pam Patterson <pam.patterson@yale.edu>
Subject: AMICO article in the nytimes
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