LIFE Photo Archive on Google

LIFE is teaming up with Google to create a massive online database of more than 10 million photos from the 1750s through to today. It is a work in progress but there is already an impressive collection of photographs online now.

Pablo Picasso Studio

“For 70 years, LIFE has been about one thing, and that’s the power of photography to tell a story,” says Andy Blau, LIFE’s President. “LIFE will now reach a broader audience and engage them online with the incredible depth and breadth of the LIFE Photo Archive from serious world events, to Hollywood celebrities to whimsical photographs.” Time Inc. EVP, John Squires adds: “We’re delighted Google recognized the rich value of our photo archive and worked with us to bring it to millions of consumers. Consistent with the launch of the TIME Archive, PEOPLE Archive and the SI Vault, this initiative continues our efforts to build valuable new revenue opportunities from our rich heritage.”

LIFE Image Archive OnlineThe LIFE photography archive is hosted here by Google. There’s an excellent collection of Pablo Picasso pictures here. The Google Image Search is free for personal and research purposes. Copyright and ownership of all images will remain with Time Inc.

Update: Searching for “Artists at Work” brings up an interesting set of images, with the likes of Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Georges Braque, Georges Rouault, Fernand Leger, Marc Chagall, Alice Neel and more coming up.

About Dion

Australian artist and observer of things.. all kinds of things. I like a wide variety of art, from the weird and wonderful to the bold and beautiful.. and everything in between.


  1. Excellent find. Thanks for the info.


  2. I did some more research this morning, trying to find some wiggle-room to post Matisse images, but to no avail. I did find out about the little known Sonny Bono law that extends the 70 year rule out to 95 (or is it 125 ?) years.

    The bottom line is, the photographer or artist must be safely dead by quit some measure before I can post his work on my blog.

    I am very happy to see the Life collection on Google, as I was looking for that dramatic perspectival photo of two soldiers in Vietnam, wounded and meeting. maybe it’ll be “up” now, but of course, as I read the law, I can’t post it on my blog.

  3. Copyright is not something I know enough about to comment on, but I can’t see a problem using an image to promote an event or product.

    I received the press release, so I figured that gave me the right to choose a photo from the collection that I liked to promote the product. I didnt ask LIFE could I use it as I figured it was to their advantage. And I would happily take the image down if they asked, along with the whole post.

  4. Mr. P must have been a closet nudist. Honestly, the guy did not seem to like pants or shirts.

  5. Donald Frazell says:

    I dont know about that, though he did think his tiny bod was buff. I live in Socal, and dont wear much during summer. He was in the south of france and gets rather hot there too, no air conditioning back then like in artiste studios now. But being a baller, my shorts are a little longer, though did wear them that short twenty some years ago, styles change.

    I have gone to a nude beach here in LA, but mostly old hippies, not much to look at. We were getting all the attention at 20 something and models and athletes.

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