Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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Searching for Images

About Our Images

Account & Payment

Licensing an Image

Miscellaneous

Searching for Images

How do I search for images?
To learn more about searching for images on our website, please view our Search Tips.

I can't find an image of a specific work of art online.
The images available through this website represent only a fraction of the Art Institute's collection. Submit the Search Request form and we'll gladly search our file for you.

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About Our Images

What image sizes are available?
The following standard specifications are available through this site:

  • Comp (147K, 3.5x2.75 in, 72 ppi, 250x200 px, RGB or Grayscale)
  • Low Res (2.5 MB, 3.5x2.75 in, 300 ppi, 1056x830 px, RGB or Grayscale)
  • High Res (20 MB, 11x8.5 in, 300 ppi, 3300x2300 px, RGB)
Actual file size may vary depending on the dimensions of the original work. If your project requires a custom specification, please Contact Us to discuss your options. Some works may require new photography in order to meet your requirements. We will advise you on any additional cost and time required to deliver a custom specification.

How soon can I have the image?
All images displaying the Add to Cart icon (Add to Cart) are available for immediate download after purchase. Images displaying the Call for Pricing icon (Request Pricing) may have available photography that will be uploaded to the website within seven (7) business days of purchase. Some works may require new photography. In these cases, new photography of the work may be arranged, pending approval. We will advise you on any additional cost and time required to deliver new photography.

How will the image be delivered?
If the image being provided is a standard specification, then you will be able to download the image through this website. A custom specification may require an alternate delivery method which may incur additional cost.

Can I download a 'comp' image for evaluation?
A low-resolution, watermarked image can be made available upon request for 'comp' or reference purposes within your organization only. Please read our Terms & Conditions for more details on 'comp' use.

Can I crop or overprint an image?
If you plan to alter the image in any way, for example, cropping or overprinting, you must get prior permission from the Art Institute of Chicago Images before licensing the image. Comps and/or layouts may be required. We will advise you if your proposed alterations are acceptable. When using a detail, caption information must identify the alteration, and include the word "Detail" at the end of the caption information.

What do you do to ensure image quality?
Our photography is produced using professional level DSLRs, Pro Digital Backs or high-end scanners, and is created in a color-managed environment centered on the Adobe RGB (1998) color space. All images are color-corrected, 24-bit RGB (8 bits per channel) and have resolutions of 300 dpi (with the exception of low res images available at 72 dpi). Learn more about our Imaging Studio.

What information do I need to publish with the image?
The following caption information must accompany all reproductions of the image: "(Artist), (Title), (Date), (Medium), (Size), (Collection), (Accession Number), The Art Institute of Chicago", in addition to information required by the third party rights holder, if any, according to his/her instructions, or, in the absence of a third party rights holder: Photography © The Art Institute of Chicago. Please see your Order Receipt and our License Agreement for more details.

How long are images available for download after purchase?
Images from past orders will be available for download up to 180 days from the purchase date. You will not be charged for downloading an image you have already purchased if you are using it for the same purpose.

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Account & Payment

How do I register?
To register, please complete the Registration Form. During registration you will be prompted to create a password and agree to our Terms & Conditions. For ease of use, we use your email address as a username. We do not sell, share or divulge any of your personal information that is stored as part of being a registered user. To find out more, read our Privacy Policy.

How do I access my account (to review a quote, download an image, view a past order, etc.)?
If you are already signed in, you will see "Welcome Your Name" in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. Click this to go to your account profile. From your account profile, you may update your contact information or view your lightboxes, shopping cart, current/past orders, and quotes pending review by clicking on the links that appear on the left-hand side of the screen. To access your account, please Sign In.

What forms of payment do you accept?
Full payment is due at the time of purchase. We accept credit card, check/money order, and wire transfer payment. To complete your purchase online, you must use a credit card. All other forms of payment will be verified prior to making the image(s) available for download. All payments MUST be in U.S. dollars. Please include your order confirmation number with check/money order and wire transfer payments.

  • Credit Card: We accept VISA, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express.
  • Check/Money Order: Checks must be in U.S. dollars and drawn on a U.S. bank, payable to "The Art Institute of Chicago".
  • Wire Transfer: Instructions for wire transfers will be given at the time of purchase. Wire transfers will incur an additional $35.00 U.S. fee.

What is your cancellation policy?
Refunds will have a 50% administrative fee deducted. Cancellations made after one year from the purchase date are not eligible for refund. New photography, postage, wire transfer/check, and rush fees are NOT refundable.

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Licensing an Image

How do I purchase an image?
Registration is required to purchase an image. To complete your purchase online, you must use a credit card. All other forms of payment will be verified prior to making the image(s) available for download. All images displaying the Add to Cart icon (Add to Cart) are available for immediate download after purchase. Images displaying the Call for Pricing icon (Request Pricing) may have available photography that will be uploaded to the website after purchase.

To purchase an image displaying the Add to Cart icon (Add to Cart): Click on the icon below the image to add the image to your shopping cart. Proceed to your shopping cart and then click on Calculate Price. A new RM Pricing Calculator window will open in your browser. Enter the requested usage information and then click Update Cart. Proceed to checkout and enter the required information. You must be registered and logged in on the website to checkout.

To purchase an image displaying the Call for Pricing icon (Request Pricing): Click on the icon below the image to request pricing. You do not have to be registered to submit the request form, however, you will need to be registered to eventually purchase the image. We will respond to your request for a quote as soon as possible.

What does rights-managed mean?
When you purchase a license to a rights-managed image, the license limits your use to a specific project, size, distribution, medium, and timeframe; price will vary with these factors. To reuse the photo later on or for additional uses, you need to re-license it. The fees and usage rights for rights-managed images are based on the specific project's criteria:

  • INTENDED USE: brochure, print advertisement, billboard, etc.
  • USE SIZE: 1/4 page, full page, double page, etc.
  • PLACEMENT OF IMAGE: inside, cover, etc.
  • PRESS RUN OR CIRCULATION: 5,000 brochures, an ad in a 250,000 press run magazine, etc.
  • DURATION OF THE USE: one-time, six months, one year, etc.
  • GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION: Local, Regional, National or International

Do you offer any royalty-free images?
No, we do not offer any royalty-free images. All images are licensed on a non-exclusive, rights-managed (RM) basis, which means the license will be limited to a specific project, size, distribution, medium, and timeframe; price will vary with these factors. To reuse the photo later on or for additional uses, you will need to re-license it.

Can I view the License Agreement?
View the Art Institute of Chicago Images License Agreement.

Are any uses prohibited?
Yes, the following uses are prohibited:

  • Promotion of Alcohol or Tobacco Products
  • Political Campaigns
  • Corporate Logos
  • Credit Card, ATM/Debit Card, or Check Illustrations
  • Promotion or Denigration of Religious Affiliations
  • Promotion of Discrimination (e.g., racism, sexism, ageism, etc.)
  • Disrespectful to the artist or the artwork (droit morale)

Do you license images for use in retail merchandise?
To license an image for use in a product for resale, please send an email to Product Development.

How do I obtain an image for a news article about the Art Institute?
If you are a member of the media looking for images related to an educational program or exhibition at the Art Institute, please send an email to Public Affairs.

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Miscellaneous

How do I purchase a print for display in my home?
Reproductions of selected works are available for purchase in our Museum Shop.

How do I obtain permission to use the Art Institute as a location for my film or photography shoot?
Please note that the Art Institute requires at minimum three-week's notice and in-person requests for same-day filming or photography will not be granted, so plan ahead. For more information, please send an email to Public Affairs.

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