Many museums are making their collections freely available to the public via the museum websites. Many of these are also open access so without copyright and usable for any purpose. It is advisable to cite the source of any image you insert into your paper or publication, including Artist, name of work, museum and website where it was obtained.
If the image is designated as copyrighted, you must ask permission before publishing it. Museums and other institutions will often allow permission and provide hi res files for no or low cost, as opposed to stock image companies such as Art Resource or Getty Images/Corbis, who often charge much larger fees, but offer a quick turn around and image researching services.
from the website:
This collaborative project between the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Whitney Museum of American Art, presents digitized highlights from the personal libraries of Hilla Rebay and Juliana Force, the museums respective inaugural directors.
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Whitney Museum of American Art have each played a key role in shaping New York’s vital cultural landscape, contributing significantly to the history of art and culture in the United States. Both founded in the 1930s, these museums were also each initially led by women—the Guggenheim, then the Museum of Non-Objective Painting, by Hilla Rebay and the Whitney by Juliana Force—who served as inaugural directors. Each woman acquired a considerable library during her tenure, collecting materials ranging from the uncommon (gallery announcements from New York and beyond, as well as rare and unusual periodicals and books) to the required reading of the day (exhibition catalogs and major monographs on contemporary artists). These important resources influenced the two women, who in turn influenced the vision and development of their respective institutions, which remain integral to the city’s cultural life today.
Working in partnership to make Rebay and Force’s personal libraries more widely available, the Guggenheim Library and Whitney Library digitized key material from each. The digitized selections, which are displayed together on the Internet Archive to highlight their commonalities and differences, are of special interest to curators, art historians, and other researchers and scholars, including those focusing on museum studies, women’s studies, and the history of New York City.
Digitized publications from both libraries can be found on the Art Resources Project Page at the Internet Archive with highlights from Hilla Rebay’s collection shown below.