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Open Content Program

The Birmingham Museum of art makes available digital images of works in the Museum’s collection believed to be in the public domain. Images are available free of charge for any use, commercial or non-commercial. Users do not need to contact the Museum for authorization to use these images. They are available through the Online Collection at See detailed instructions for specific work types below.

Identifying Open Content Images

The mission of the Birmingham Museum of Art is to spark the creativity, imagination, and liveliness of Birmingham by connecting all its citizens to the experience, meaning, and joy of art. The Museum understands that by sharing images of works online without restrictions, the BMA collection becomes more accessible to a larger audience.

For objects with images the rights status is displayed in the “credit line” section of the object information. The rights status or rights holder will be indicated. If the work is in the public domain and/or the image may be downloaded, the download icon will appear in the bottom right corner of the image area. To search the collection click here.

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Open Content Program
Digital Media Department
The Birmingham Museum of Art
2000 Rev. Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd
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  • If an image is not available under Open Content it may be because the work is still under copyright, the work is not owned by the museum, or the work has not yet been photographed to BMA standards.
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Chioggia Fisherman

Frank Duveneck

About 1894

Raised in Cincinnati in a family of working-class German-Catholic immigrants, Frank Duveneck received his earliest artistic training from Johann Schmitt and Wilhelm Lamprecht, leading painters of church decoration in the employ of the Covington Altar Stock Building Company, across the Ohio River in Covington, Kentucky. Schmitt and Lamprecht had both studied in Munich, which probably influenced Duveneck’s decision to further his education in Germany. In 1870, Duveneck enrolled in the Bavarian Royal Academy, and it was there that he learned to paint with the bravura brushwork for which he is best known. In 1908, one critic wrote that Duveneck “was one of the first in this country to make known what was best in the Munich teaching; namely that painting is painting, and not merely the application of color to a carefully drawn figure.” 

Although Duveneck eventually returned to Cincinnati, where he joined the faculty of the Cincinnati Art Academy, he spent much of his career living and working abroad, particularly in Italy. Around 1894, he visited the coastal town of Chioggia, a major fishing port just south of Venice, where he painted this portrait of a wizened pescatore. The rich tonality and expressive brushwork of Duveneck’s work had a profound influence on several painters of the Ashcan School, including George Bellows and Robert Henri. In 1936, Henri characterized Duveneck’s work, stating, “A brush stroke which to the ordinary eye might seem crude or hasty is in his work the very perfect measure.”