Manage Your Open Access Art Edits with Pinterest

Pin, 3rd–4th century, Late Roman, Image courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art Open Access Collection

As an entrepreneur, I like to find free tools that can help creatives conserve cash when they’re trying to launch a new product or business.

For years my main job was image editing: mining through millions of images in the Corbis collection to pick the ones that would be a good fit for products. Product criteria varied, and what was a perfect fit for one project was totally irrelevant for another. This is the same type of work for media publishing, there is a search for just the right image to match an article.

When you’re doing this kind of work, there is a process of selecting and then editing down to those that will make the final cut. During a search, you might also find something for another project that you want to tuck away for later. Professionals at media companies have access to powerful editing tools with lightboxes, folders and mechanisms for saving, reviewing and sharing with team members. They often have relationships with multiple image providers, taking in feeds of content and then combining them for editors to sift through via one tool.

When you’re designing products and working with Open Access collections from museums, there are two challenges:

  1. The search for the right image is usually across multiple museums – meaning you’re searching multiple websites for content
  2. Oftentimes museums don’t offer accounts with functionality for saving images to a lightbox

How can you get around this?

Enter Pinterest.


Pinterest as an Editing Tool

Pinterest is a great way to keep track of the original source for an image. When searching the Open Access collection on a museum’s website, if I find an image for a project I pin it directly from the website and add to a board. That way, if I decide to use the image later, I have a quick way to get back to the original website, and all of the related information that I may need to use the image – including the actual information about the work of art, and details on their license terms.

Adding Sections to a Board

Board “sections” make working with a large volume of images much easier. It’s a great way to organize a project. As an example, I’ve created the board Open Access on my Pinterest account. Within that board I created a “section” for each museum. Now I can quickly refer back to works I like from each museum, keeping it all together in one place.

There are two ways to organize pins: utilizing the “organize” function on the board, or editing a single pin.

Move Single Pin to a Section

  1. To add or move a pin to a specific section, simply click on the image you would like to organize
  2. Select “edit” and underneath the board title you will see the option to select or create a section
  3. If you need to create a new section, type the title and save

Move Multiple Pins to a Section

If you know you want to move multiple pins to a section (or another board) you can use the “organize” function

  1. Look for the “organize” button on the upper right of your board
  2. Once you click organize you can select multiple images
  3. When you’re ready, click “move” at the upper right and select your board. You can move to another board, or to a section within a board

This is helping me stay more organized with my selects for Unlock Culture blog posts – and I hope it helps you!


Image Credit

Pin | 3rd–4th century, Late Roman | Image Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art Open Access Collection

Inspired early on by Marshall McLuhan’s “the medium is the message,” Rachel creates products and initiatives to make art more accessible through technology. After completing a masters in art history at the University of Texas at Austin, she joined Corbis Images where she developed image licensing programs for education, mobile and consumer goods for more than 10 years. Subsequently she began experimenting with publishing open access images from cultural heritage in educational and commercial products. She now leads product strategy at CultureTech in their mission to open up art. Together with CultureTech, Tulane Law School, and several museums, she is currently researching how blockchain technology can connect art owners, rights holders and admirers – to make it easier to find, license, use, and re-mix art through the ages.