Community Free Images

In the course of doing my work, I search for and find a lot of copyright free images. I've gotten pretty good at it and know a lot of resources, so I've decided to share them with you! Here's links to an ongoing project of Community Free Images, where I'll post links to folders containing high-res images that are copyright-free and available for you to use! 

Plus I'm happy to take suggestions or requests for help with images. Consider me a resource for artists, schools, libraries, anyone who's looking for some historic images and is having trouble finding good, high-quality images. Email me at matt@alternatehistories.com if you're looking for help with images!

• Juneteenth / Emancipation Day Images
A collection of images from the 20th century celebrating Juneteenth or as it was commonly called in the South, Emancipation or Jubilee Day.

• All Black Cast Movie Posters from the NMAAHC
A collection of posters for independently produced films with all-black casts made during the 1920s, 30s, and 40s, all from the National Museum of African American History and Culture (and one from the National Portrait Gallery). While film productions in Hollywood focused entirely on white protagonists, with Black characters relegated to supporting or comedic roles (or worse, sometimes played by white actors in blackface), there was a small but thriving world of low budget independent produced films starring "All Black Casts." Movies were produced during the silent era, in the sound era, in Hollywood, New York, Florida, and beyond, often starring popular singers or vaudeville entertainers (as seen here in a lobby card for 1938's "The Duke is Tops," featuring the film debut of Lena Horne). Click here to download the whole collection.

• WPA Posters from the Library of Congress
I hope you'll enjoy this brief dive into one of my favorite collections, the WPA posters catalog at the Library of Congress. These posters, created between 1936 and 1943, cover a wide range of topics including National Park tourism, public health (lots of Syphilis warnings!), and countless posters for variety shows, music revues, plays and more. The WPA constituted some of the United States' first federal funding of art in this country under FDR's New Deal, and this is just a brief glimpse of some of my favorites. You can view the Library of Congress's full collection of over 900 images by clicking here (all free and available to download), or just download the images I've selected by clicking here.

• Unknown Artists from the Smithsonian 
The Smithsonian Open Access program is a great resource of not just still images, but also 3d renderings, music, all kinds of amazing stuff. I happened to stumble upon this first image, of a lonely car on a highway with a train passing over, and was so taken by it. The artist was unknown and it dates from the New Deal era in the 1930s, so I decided to pull a bunch of artwork from other unknown artists around the same time. Produced mainly during 1933-1943, I hope in some small way we can honor the work of these talented, unknown artists. These can be used for inspiration, for personal use, or for business use provided you credit the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Click on the title above to download the whole collection or below for a few individual favorites.
   • Highway 
   • Native American Dancers sketch
   • Day Dream
   • Steel Valley family

• Images of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
This is a collection of twelve photos of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr from the Library of Congress website, ranging from press conferences, informal meetings, marches, and even a few candids with Malcolm X. Click on the title to download the compressed folder of pictures, or click below to download a few of my favorites:
   • Press Photo of Dr. King, 1964
   • Dr. King at an Antiwar Rally, 1967
   • King and other leaders of the March on Washington, 1963
   • Malcom X at the Senate Civil Rights Act debate

 

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