Pretty Pictures from the Public Domain

As a general rule, any works published before 1923, and any works of the federal government are in the public domain under United States law. Such works are no longer protected by copyright, and anyone can make use of them in any manner they desire. (While more recent works may have fallen into the public domain, they need to be looked at on a case by case basis.)

There’s lots of cool stuff in the public domain. Like unintentionally funny US government propaganda posters…

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(Unknown Artist, US Government, 1942)

Classic Pre-Raphaelite paintings of the 19th century…

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(John William Waterhouse, The Magic Circle, 1886)

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(Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, The Women of Amphissa, 1887)

American landscape artists of the 1800s…

image(Albert Bierstadt, Bridal Veil Falls Yosemite, 1871)

Fantastic space art created by NASA employees…

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(NASA–Rick Guidice, Cylindrical Colony, Interior View Looking through Large Windows, 1975)

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(NASA–Don Davis, Pioneer 10, 1983)

Beautiful antique maps…

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(Battista Agnese, Brazil from Portolan Atlas, 1544)

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(Olaus Magnus, Carta Marina, 1539)

Classic Art Deco paintings and illustrations…

image(Maxfield Parrish, Daybreak,1922)

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(Louis Lozowick–WPA Federal Art Project, Bridge Repair, 1938)

NOAA and USGS maps…

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(NOAA–Topographical Map of the United States, 2008)

image(USGS–Topographical Map of the World)

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