One of the many wonders of the internet is that so much art work is available online. No, it isn’t the same as viewing a work in person but it is enough to give you a frame of reference. The Smithsonian has just made the Freer/Sackler Galleries available online. These galleries consist of some 40,000 pieces of American and Asian art ranging from high resolution photos of brass basins like this one to a sketch of Whistler’s mother.
All of the images are available for free high resolution download for non-commercial purposes so while you couldn’t include the pieces in a book or article you could use them to research a time period.
To find out more, visit Open F/S.