The Cleveland Museum of Art Open Access API

[ The API and this documentation are a work in progress. ]

The Cleveland Museum of Art Open Access

The Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) was founded in 1913 “for the benefit of all the people forever.” The museum strives to help the broadest possible audience understand and engage with the world’s great art. The Cleveland Museum of Art is one of the most comprehensive art museums in the world and one of northeastern Ohio’s principal civic and cultural institutions. 

The Cleveland Museum of Art provides datasets of information on more than 61,000 artworks in its Collection for unrestricted commercial and noncommercial use. Additionally, the museum provides image assets for as many as 30,000 works, which are made availble under the same terms. Links to the web, print, and full-sized, uncompressed versions of these images are included in the dataset where applicable.

To the extent possible under law, The Cleveland Museum of Art has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to this dataset using Creative Commons Zero. This work is published from: The United States Of America. You can also find the text of the CC Zero deed in the file LICENSE in this repository. These select datasets are now available for use in any media without permission or fee; they also include identifying data for artworks under copyright. The datasets support the search, use, and interaction with the Museum’s collection. 

For more information about CMA's Open Access initiative, please visit:

For any questions about the dataset, the API, or anything else related to CMA's Open Access initiative, please contact:

Release History

Version 2.1 (2020-03-23)

Version 2.0 (2020-03-19)

Version 1.0 (2019-01-23)



All of the data in API and corresponding GitHub repository, collectively referred to here as the "dataset", is updated via automated process daily directly from our central collection content management system (CCMS). Any changes in the CCMS will be reflected upon this update in the dataset.

As part of this update, the data in the CCMS is analyzed to account for any new artworks or new information in an artwork record that would necessitate a change to the share_license_status field.

This field will have values of "CC0", "Copyrighted", or "Other". While all data in the dataset is released with a CC0 designation, only artworks with the CC0 share_license_status will additionally provide access to CC0 images.

These automated updates are generally completed by 5am daily.

API Endpoints

GET Artworks (Search)

Get a list of artworks and associated metadata and image links based on a search term.


Name Type Description
q string Any keyword or phrase that searches against title, creator, artwork description, and several other meaningful fields related to the artwork.
cc0 none Filters by works that have share license cc0.
copyrighted none Filters by works that have some sort of copyright.
department string Filter by department. List of valid departments in Appendix A.
type string Filter by artwork types. List of valid types in Appendix B.
has_image integer 0 or 1. Filter to return only artworks that have a web image asset. (synonymous with the deprecated field web_image)
indent integer Number of spaces to indent JSON content if "pretty" formatting is desired.
skip integer Offset index for results.
limit integer Limit for number of results. If no limit provided, API will return the maximum (1000) number of records.

Advanced Search Fields

Name Type Description
artists string Filter by name of artist.
title string Filter by title of artwork.
medium string Filter by artwork medium.
credit string Filter by credit line.
catalogue_raisonne string Filter by catalogue raisonne.
provenance string Filter by provenance of artwork
citations string Keyword search against the citations field.
exhibition_history string Filter by exhibition history of artwork.
created_before integer Returns artworks created before the year specified. Negative years are BCE.
created_after integer Returns artworks created after the year specified. Negative years are BCE.
currently_on_view none Filters by works that are currently on view at CMA.
currently_on_loan none Filters by works that are currently on loan.
african_american_artists none Filters by works created by African American artists.
cia_alumni_artists none Filters by works created by Cleveland Institute of Art alumni.
may_show_artists none Filters by works exhibited in Cleveland Museum of Art May Shows
female_artists none Filters by artworks created by female artists.
recently_acquired none Filters by artworks acquired by the museum in the last three years.
nazi_era_provenance none Filters by nazi-era provenance.
created_after_age integer Filters by artworks that were created by artists older than the provided value in years at time of creation.
created_before_age integer Filters by artworks that were created by artists younger than the provided value in years at time of creation.

Example Request

Example Response

 "info": {
  "total": 22,
  "parameters": {
   "q": "song xu",
   "skip": "2",
   "limit": "1",
   "indent": "1",
   "search": "song xu"
 "data": [
   "id": 160729,
   "accession_number": "1998.78.14",
   "share_license_status": "CC0",
   "tombstone": "Eighteen Views of Huzhou: Baoyang Lake, 1500s. Song Xu (Chinese, 1525-c. 1606). Album; ink and color on silk; sheet: 26.4 x 28.4 cm (10 3/8 x 11 3/16 in.). The Cleveland Museum of Art, The Severance and Greta Millikin Purchase Fund 1998.78.14",
   "current_location": null,
   "title": "Baoyang Lake",
   "title_in_original_language": "\u5305\u967d\u6e56",
   "series": "Eighteen Views of Huzhou",
   "series_in_original_language": "\u6e56\u5dde\u5341\u516b\u666f\u5716",
   "creation_date": "1500s",
   "creation_date_earliest": 1525,
   "creation_date_latest": 1599,
   "creators": [
     "description": "Song Xu (Chinese, 1525-c. 1606)",
     "extent": null,
     "qualifier": null,
     "role": "artist",
     "biography": "Song Xu (\u5b8b\u65ed, 1525-c. 1606), was a versatile Chinese painter active in northern Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces. He was skilled in landscapes, boundary paintings (\u754c\u756b, paintings of architecture), figure painting, and Buddhist painting. Although born a commoner, he also cultivated the literati arts of poetry and calligraphy. He studied Chan Buddhism and eventually became a Buddhist priest himself.",
     "name_in_original_language": "\u5b8b\u65ed",
     "birth_year": "1525",
     "death_year": "1606"
   "culture": [
    "China, Jiaxing, 16th century"
   "technique": "album; ink and color on silk",
   "support_materials": [],
   "department": "Chinese Art",
   "collection": "ASIAN - Album leaf",
   "type": "Painting",
   "measurements": "Sheet: 26.4 x 28.4 cm (10 3/8 x 11 3/16 in.)",
   "dimensions": {
    "sheet": {
     "height": 0.264,
     "width": 0.284
   "state_of_the_work": null,
   "edition_of_the_work": null,
   "creditline": "The Severance and Greta Millikin Purchase Fund",
   "copyright": null,
   "inscriptions": [],
   "exhibitions": {
    "current": [],
    "legacy": [
     "Main Asian Rotation (Gallery 122); March 4, 2003 - July 23, 2003."
   "provenance": [],
   "find_spot": null,
   "related_works": [],
   "fun_fact": null,
   "digital_description": null,
   "wall_description": "This album of landscape paintings depicts the famous scenic areas located in and around the city of Wuxing in southeastern China. The artist, Song Xu, was not a native of that city, but must have visited it when he accepted the commission, for he carefully depicted all eighteen views and wrote comments on each of them. These places were all known for their natural beauty, but in addition, a number were distingusihed by their links to eminent historical figures and events. Unlike other artists of his time, Song Xu favored a painting style that was technically polished and focused attention on specific, realistic details. Such an approach was well suited to projects like this one, for which the artist was in great demand.",
   "citations": [
     "citation": "Cleveland Museum of Art, Ju-hsi Chou, and Anita Chung. Silent poetry: Chinese paintings from the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art. 2015.",
     "page_number": "287-295",
     "url": null
   "catalogue_raisonne": null,
   "url": "",
   "images": {
    "web": {
     "url": "",
     "filename": "1998.78.14_web.jpg",
     "filesize": "718224",
     "width": "956",
     "height": "893"
    "print": {
     "url": "",
     "filename": "1998.78.14_print.jpg",
     "filesize": "10933890",
     "width": "3400",
     "height": "3177"
    "full": {
     "url": "",
     "filename": "1998.78.14_full.tif",
     "filesize": "77605796",
     "width": "5260",
     "height": "4916"
   "updated_at": "2019-01-22 14:39:18.064000"

More Example Requests

GET Artwork (Specific)

Get a specific artwork record by and id parameter, which can be the artwork’s Athena id or accession number{id}


Name Type Description
indent integer Number of spaces to indent JSON content if "pretty" formatting is desired.

Example Request

Example Response

 "data": {
  "id": 130707,
  "accession_number": "1953.424",
  "share_license_status": "CC0",
  "tombstone": "Head of Saint John the Baptist, c. 1550-1650. Spain or Northern Italy, mid 16th - mid 17th century. Oil on canvas; framed: 80.6 x 104.8 x 7.6 cm (31 3/4 x 41 1/4 x 3 in.); unframed: 50 x 75.2 cm (19 11/16 x 29 5/8 in.). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund 1953.424",
  "current_location": "118 Italian Renaissance",
  "title": "Head of Saint John the Baptist",
  "title_in_original_language": null,
  "series": null,
  "series_in_original_language": null,
  "creation_date": "c. 1550-1650",
  "creation_date_earliest": 1550,
  "creation_date_latest": 1650,
  "creators": [],
  "culture": [
   "Spain or Northern Italy, mid 16th - mid 17th century"
  "technique": "oil on canvas",
  "support_materials": [],
  "department": "European Painting and Sculpture",
  "collection": "P - Italian 16th & 17th Century",
  "type": "Painting",
  "measurements": "Framed: 80.6 x 104.8 x 7.6 cm (31 3/4 x 41 1/4 x 3 in.); Unframed: 50 x 75.2 cm (19 11/16 x 29 5/8 in.)",
  "dimensions": {
   "framed": {
    "height": 0.806,
    "width": 1.048,
    "depth": 0.076
   "unframed": {
    "height": 0.5,
    "width": 0.752
  "state_of_the_work": null,
  "edition_of_the_work": null,
  "creditline": "Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund",
  "copyright": null,
  "inscriptions": [
    "inscription": "Inscription of ribbon entwining the reed cross: ECCE AGNUS DEI",
    "inscription_translation": null,
    "inscription_remark": null
  "exhibitions": {
   "current": [
     "title": "The Venetian Tradition",
     "description": "The Venetian Tradition. The Cleveland Museum of Art (November 8, 1956-January 1, 1957).",
     "opening_date": "1956-11-08T05:00:00"
   "legacy": [
    "Vienna, Sezesion (second exhibition by the Verein der Museumfreunde), 1924: \"Meisterwerker Italienischer Renaissance Kunst aus Privtbesitz,\" cat. no. 112. 
Venice, Palazo P\u00e9saro, 1935: \"Mostra di Tiziano,\" cat. no. 63 (catalogue by Gino Fogliari).
CMA, 1956: \"The Venetian Tradition,\" cat. no. 22, pl. IX. (Catalogue by Henry S Francis)." ] }, "provenance": [ { "description": "[Alessandro Brass, Venice], sold to the Cleveland Museum of Art, 1953.", "citations": [], "footnotes": null, "date": null } ], "find_spot": null, "related_works": [], "fun_fact": null, "digital_description": null, "wall_description": "Salome\u2019s dancing so pleased her stepfather Herod that he offered her anything she wanted. Her mother advised Salome to demand John the Baptist\u2019s head, which Salome presented to her family in an elaborate dish. Here, the head stands on its own, with a startlingly tangible presence. Despite its biblical source, this work was meant for a domestic setting, whose owner would have admired the artful presentation of a shocking story. Acquired in 1953 as the work of the Venetian Renaissance artist Titian, the painting soon lost this attribution because it lacks Titian\u2019s distinctive brushwork. After decades of research, the museum has yet to identify a clear author. Recently, several scholars have argued persuasively for a Spanish artist, partly because the subject is common in Spanish art in the early 1600s. Yet the color scheme and the handling of paint in the face recalls the work of earlier artists inspired by Titian in northern Italy.", "citations": [ { "citation": "The Cleveland Museum of Art. Handbook of the Cleveland Museum of Art/1966. Cleveland, OH: The Cleveland Museum of Art, 1966.", "page_number": "Reproduced: p. 97", "url": "" }, { "citation": "The Cleveland Museum of Art. Handbook of the Cleveland Museum of Art/1969. Cleveland, OH: The Cleveland Museum of Art, 1969.", "page_number": "Reproduced: p. 97", "url": "" }, { "citation": "The Cleveland Museum of Art. Handbook of the Cleveland Museum of Art/1978. Cleveland, OH: The Cleveland Museum of Art, 1978.", "page_number": "Reproduced: p. 111", "url": "" }, { "citation": "The Cleveland Museum of Art. The Cleveland Museum of Art Catalogue of Paintings, Part 3: European Paintings of the 16th, 17th, and 18th Centuries. Cleveland, OH: The Cleveland Museum of Art, 1982.", "page_number": "Mentioned and Reproduced: p. 442", "url": null } ], "catalogue_raisonne": null, "url": "", "images": { "web": { "url": "", "filename": "1953.424_web.jpg", "filesize": "724828", "width": "1263", "height": "830" }, "print": { "url": "", "filename": "1953.424_print.jpg", "filesize": "5897752", "width": "3400", "height": "2235" }, "full": { "url": "", "filename": "1953.424_full.tif", "filesize": "72441096", "width": "6060", "height": "3983" } }, "updated_at": "2019-01-22 14:37:34.138000" } }

Collection Online Endpoints

In addition to the RESTful endpoints above, there are 3 additional endpoints that are used by the CMA Collection Online to link directly to data and images in certain formats for CC0-designated artworks. Strictly speaking, these endpoints weren't intended to be used independently of the Collection Online, but are included here for completeness.

GET JPEG and Caption

Return the print- and web-resolution images, as well as a text file containing the caption or "tombstone" information for the artwork. This is accomplished by pulling the tombstone and image urls directly from the API database, writing them to a zipfile, and returning it in the API response.

Example Request

GET High-Resolution TIFF

Return the high-resolution TIFF of the artwork. This simply redirects the user to the TIFF location in the CDN.

Example Request

GET Metadata Only

Return a formatted plain-text file with all the API data for the artwork. This is accomplished by pulling all artwork data directly from the API database, putting it into human-readable format via a Jinja template, and returning as a text-file.

Example Request

Response Fields

Field Description
id ID in AthenaCCMS.
accession_number Accession number.
share_license_status CC0, Copyrighted, or Other.
tombstone Aggregated information about the artwork.
current_location Computed location field.
title Title in English.
title_in_original_language Original language title.
series Title of series (if applicable).
series_in_original_language Title of series in original language (if applicable.)
creation_date Creation date; negative, print, date of duplication.
creation_date_earliest Earliest date that the work could have been completed.
creation_date_latest Latest date that the work could have been completed.
creators Name of artist, culture, firm, etc OR Nationality or culture area (Mesoamerica, Andes, etc.), including ethnic origin or affiliation and race.
Includes: Extent (printed by, designed by)
Qualifier (attributed to, workshop of, follower of)
Role (printer, painter, goldsmith)
Artist Biography
Name in original language
culture Place name important to the work or the creator, including geographic sub-regions (e.g., North Coast, South Coast, Plains, Arctic, Siena, Beijing, Rift Valley) OR Period or phase name, when relevant (e.g., Early Horizon, Formative Period).
technique Technique Name (e.g., cut glass, lithograph; for textiles, woven, embroidered, printed). Inkjet prints: brands and model numbers of printer and of ink or pigment; brand of paper OR Type of Work (e.g., refectory table, altarpiece, portfolio, drinking vessel, rhyton, boudoir photograph, hand scroll, hanging scroll, album or manuscript leaf, etc.).
support_materials Name of support or ground material, when relevant (laid paper, canvas, board, etc.)
Includes watermarks, if applicable.
department Curatorial area of collection.
collection Subset of Curatorial area of collection.
type Classification of Work (e.g., furniture, painting, drawing, etc).
measurements Full set of the artwork’s dimensions, including height, width, depth, circumference, weight, length of time; includes framed/matted dimensions and image size (for prints and photos.
dimensions A more granular dictionary of a work's dimensions, encompassing all relevant measured aspects. All measurements in meters.
state_of_the_work State of the work.
edition_of_the_work Edition of the work.
creditline Ownership and credit line.
copyright Copyright
inscriptions Signature or maker’s mark related to origin or accompanying dealer tags and labels. Includes translation and remarks, if applicable.
exhibition_history Exhibition history and loans, any public display of the work at CMA or elsewhere, including online presentation, current and legacy. 'Current' refers to information pulled from currently-maintained, well-formed data (includes opening date, title, description). 'Legacy' refers to any additional archival exhibition history that has been discovered.
provenance Ownership history date and description, plus footnotes and citations where applicable.
find_spot geographic location where the work was excavated or discovered.
related_works Related works, such as design drawings and series (CMA collection), including relationship and description where applicable.
fun_fact Short, memorable fact or perspective on the work.
digital_description Short description of the work intended for digital publications.
wall_description Approved label text for gallery installations.
citations Textual references, both in full and brief citations  (e.g., Millon, Baroque Architecture, 1961), including published bibliographic materials, web sites, archival documents, unpublished manuscripts, and verbal opinions.
catalogue_raisonne Identifier of the artist's catalogue raisonné (a definitive, annotated catalogue of an artist's work).
url Link to artwork on CMA website
images Records for web, print, and full size image assets of the work. Includes url, filesize, filename, and dimensions.
updated_at Timestamp for when the artwork record was last updated in the API database.

Appendix A: Departments

African ArtAmerican Painting and SculptureArt of the Americas
Chinese ArtContemporary ArtDecorative Art and Design
DrawingsEgyptian and Ancient Near Eastern ArtEuropean Painting and Sculpture
Greek and Roman ArtIndian and South East Asian ArtIslamic Art
Japanese ArtKorean ArtMedieval Art
Modern European Painting and SculptureOceaniaPerforming Arts, Music, & Film

Appendix B: Types

AmuletsApparatusArms and Armor
BasketryBook BindingBound Volume
CoinsCosmetic ObjectsDrawing
FrameFunerary EquipmentFurniture and woodwork
LeatherLinoleum BlockLithographic Stone
MiscellaneousMixed MediaMonotype
MosaicMusical InstrumentNetsuke
Portrait MiniaturePrintRelief
Rock crystalRubbingSampler
SilverSpindle WhorlStencil
Time-based MediaToolVelvet