By accessing the Birmingham Museum of Art’s website and image gallery, you agree to the Museum’s Terms of Use and any additional terms listed below.

Open Content Program

The Birmingham Museum of art makes available digital images of works in the Museum’s collection believed to be in the public domain. Images are available free of charge for any use, commercial or non-commercial. Users do not need to contact the Museum for authorization to use these images. They are available through the Online Collection at artsbma.org. See detailed instructions for specific work types below.

Identifying Open Content Images

The mission of the Birmingham Museum of Art is to spark the creativity, imagination, and liveliness of Birmingham by connecting all its citizens to the experience, meaning, and joy of art. The Museum understands that by sharing images of works online without restrictions, the BMA collection becomes more accessible to a larger audience.

For objects with images the rights status is displayed in the “credit line” section of the object information. The rights status or rights holder will be indicated. If the work is in the public domain and/or the image may be downloaded, the download icon will appear in the bottom right corner of the image area. To search the collection click here.

Works With Restrictions

For copyright-protected images that have been approved by copyright holders, a presentation-sized image is available, but can not be downloaded. A copyright statement clearly listing the name of the copyright holder is visible in the credit line area when the image is displayed. Thumbnail-sized images of copyrighted works are displayed under fair use.

When the owner of a work is impossible to determine or contact, the work is deemed an orphan work. The Museum will make thumbnails of orphan works available. If you are the representative or rights holder of an orphan work, please contact Rights and Reproductions.

Credit/Citations

Please use the following source credit when reproducing an Open Content image: Courtesy Birmingham Museum of Art, followed by the credit line provided in the object description.

Although there are no restrictions or conditions of the use of an Open Content image, the BMA would appreciate a gratis copy of any scholarly publication(s) in which the images are reproduced in order to maintain collection bibliography. Copies may be sent to the attention of:

Open Content Program
Digital Media Department
The Birmingham Museum of Art
2000 Rev. Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd
Birmingham, AL 35203

Disclaimer

  • If an image is not available under Open Content it may be because the work is still under copyright, the work is not owned by the museum, or the work has not yet been photographed to BMA standards.
  • Request Images: If an image of a work is not available online or is under copyright, you may submit a request through our online request form. You may also request files in additional sizes or formats. A fee will be charged for this service.
  • Our determination of public domain is made in good faith.
  • Electronic records are based on historical information and may not be the Museum’s complete or current knowledge about an object. Research is ongoing.
  • The ‘On View’ status may be delayed on the website by 24 hours. Please check with our Rights and Registration Office to confirm that a work of art will be on view before traveling to the Museum.
  • For additional details and additional terms of use, please see the Birmingham Museum of Art’s Terms of Use Page

Moroccan Scene

Henry Ossawa Tanner

About 1912

Raised in Philadelphia, Henry Ossawa Tanner went on to become one of the most successful American artists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. His unusual middle name derives from Osawatomie, Kansas, the town defended by the abolitionist John Brown against pro-slavery agitators in 1856. Tanner began painting as a young teenager and by age twenty was granted admission to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Despite discrimination and mistreatment, he flourished under the tutelage of the realist painter Thomas Eakins and became known for his reverent depictions of African Americans and religious subjects.


Frustrated by racial prejudice, Tanner left Philadelphia in 1889, moving first to Atlanta, then to Paris, which became his permanent home. In 1912, Tanner spent several months in Morocco, a trip that inspired a great number of works including Moroccan Scene, which displays the dramatic handling of light for which Tanner became known. Tanner was the only African-American artist of his generation to gain widespread acclaim and remains a most celebrated artist today.


Remarkably, Tanner has a tie to Alabama: in 1891, his sister, Halle Tanner Dillon Johnson, became the first woman to practice medicine in this state.