Looking for free vintage art to dress up your home? I have curated 35 of my favorite vintage art that are ready for you to download.
If I was rich I would have a house filled with antique oil paintings from Europe. They would be so lovely and hanging on all our walls just what it looks like in Downton Abbey. I’m not rich and that’s A OK! Instead of longing for something I cannot afford I came up with an alternative that I want to share with you! Free vintage art completely downloadable and ready for you to print!!
I’ve done all the hunting for you! Below you can access these downloads but first are some tips on printing and framing.
Affiliate links are provided below. Please see my full disclosure.
I rather stumbled upon this amazing free resource while I was searching for antique art and want to share this with you! Thankfully we now have access to open source vintage digital art through all sorts of art museums and other resources.
Where to find Vintage Art
Nowadays it’s easier than ever to find what you are looking for. With all the digital technology we have many works of art have been preserved and uploaded into databases at a variety of art museums. These downloads have been labeled as open source.
Many art museums have provided the opportunity to download Open Access pieces of art without restriction to use, share or even remix. These pieces are out of copyright and available to us.
The New York Metropolitan Museum of Art has more than 406,000 images of artworks from their collection and there are many other museums offering the same.
Some other museums:
This is not an exhaustive list; many more museums also offer open source art to download and use. Once I made this discovery it’s all I could do not to pursue various online museums to find fabulous pieces. A few hours later and I was hooked!
I might have even fed my family sandwiches that evening instead of cooking because I was addicted to the hunt for art!
I found line drawings, oil paintings, watercolor prints and I gasped every time I found a keeper!
What is digital downloadable art?
So, this refers to a piece that you download to your computer; not an actual piece of art you can hold in your hand. Once downloaded to your computer you can choose to print the artwork from home or have it printed professionally, use it as a screen saver or as art displayed on your television.
I recommend downloading these files to a computer rather than a phone or iPad making it easier to have them printed at home or professionally.
Where to print your art?
If you are printing something small you could manage this on your home printer if you like.
I have been going to Walgreens since they are up the street from my house. They usually have online coupon codes making printing super inexpensive and since these downloads are free the cost to you for printing is minimal.
VistaPrint is also another great option for online printing and mailing to your home. Free downloadable art, printed and delivered right to your door. How easy is that! Of course there are many other sources for printing; select your favorite.
What paper/material should I have my art printed on?
Since I am not an expert in this department I will pass on what I have learned and heard from people who are art experts. I like to look at lovely art but have no skill to create it or know how to best print it. This is what I’ve learned.
They say to print on the type of paper/material that is closest to what the original would have been on. So an oil painting; print on canvas, line drawing, matte paper, watercolor painting, watercolor paper or matte paper. Moab Rag (according to Splendus) is another great paper that is thicker, has a bit of texture, and is 100% cotton.
I say all of that to say, I have been printing to Walgreens and have been happy with the result, but I’m just printing off 8×10’s, sometimes up to a 16×20 and popping them in a frame. I do plan on sometime printing to a canvas and putting that in a frame as it will look so much better than a simple print behind glass.
Take into consideration the project you are working on and what you are displaying and where. Sometimes you may just want some quick vintage art to add to a frame. Other times you might want something more substantial for a larger project.
Where to I find frames
You can find frames in a myriad of places at all different price points. Since I want this to be a more affordable project for you to accomplish I have listed some nice options here that won’t break the bank.
Thrift Stores are also a great place because you might find a nice vintage frame that compliments your vintage print making your art look even more curated.
Other Related Vintage Art Posts:
- How to Create a Welcoming Entry Way
- Furnish Your Home with Facebook Marketplace
- Items to Buy at the Thrift Store