14 Most Popular Art APIs

Art is all over the internet. There are websites that feature museum collections images and data, tools for artists, graphic downloads, marketplaces to buy and sell art, group collaborations, art games, art education tools, social networks for artists and art critics, and many other content forms.

Developers wishing to create applications that tap into these resources need the best web APIs to do the job.

What is an Art API?

An Art Application Programming Interface, or API, is an interface that allows a developer to programmatically access and interact with data from an art Resource.

The best place to find these APIs is in the Art category of ProgrammableWeb. There, developers can tap into hundreds of resources for creating art applications, including SDKs, Source Code Samples, How-to articles, and of course, APIs.

This article details the 14 most popular Art APIs, as determined by web site traffic on ProgrammableWeb.

1. Etsy API

Etsy is a global online marketplace for buying and selling handmade and vintage things. The Etsy APITrack this API allows developers to build third-party applications using data from the Etsy Platform. API methods are available for listings, payments, seller tools, shipping, images, translations, merchandising, and more.

2. Metropolitan Museum of Art Met Collection API

The Metropolitan Museum of Art contains over 5000 years of art from around the world in its collection. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Met Collection APITrack this API is a newly released Public API that provides select datasets of information on more than 400,000 artworks for unrestricted commercial and noncommercial use. The API provides access to all of the Met's Open Access data and to corresponding high resolution images.

Get programmatic access to 400k+ images + metadata from the The Met collection via API

Get programmatic access to 400k+ images + metadata from the The Met collection via API. Image: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

3. Poemist API

Poems are written art. Poemist is an online database of poets and poems. The Poemist APITrack this API allows developers to access poetry data, including information on poets and poems. Currently the only completed API method is one that allows users to retrieve random poems.

4. Marvel Comics API

Marvel Comics is the publisher of comic books featuring superheroes such as Captain Marvel, Spiderman, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, and hundreds of other characters. The Marvel Comics APITrack this API provides developer access to metadata describing Marvel's 70+ years of comics. The RESTful API delivers JSON formatted information about creators, characters, series, storylines, individual issues, and crossover events.

5. Comic Vine API

The Comic Vine APITrack this API provides access to continually-updated, structured-wiki content data on comics including characters, series, creators, concepts, story arcs, etc. This data is made available in XML and JSON format. The API does not provide data specific to the Comic Vine userbase. The data itself is provided by comic fans who contribute millions of edits to Comic Vine every year.

6. Behance API

Behance is a website for creative professionals to share their work. Popular with photographers, artists and designers, the site allows its users to create portfolios of work and show current projects. The Behance APITrack this API makes available much of the site's content. Developers can search and browse Behance users, discovering them by name, location or keyword. Completed projects and works in progress are also searchable via the API, which uses REST with all calls returned in JSONP.

Behance from Adobe enables creators to showcase their works

Behance from Adobe enables creators to showcase their works. Screenshot: Behance/Adobe


7. Open Library Covers API

Open Library lends ebooks worldwide and provides APIs for book data. The Open Library Covers APITrack this API provides a programmatic method to access the book covers and author photos available in the Open Library Covers Repository. Book covers can be accessed using Cover ID (internal cover ID), OLID (Open Library ID), ISBN, OCLC, LCCN and other identifiers like librarything and goodreads.

8. Artsy API

Artsy.net is a marketplace learning about, and for buying, works of art. The Artsy APITrack this API provides access to images of historic artwork and related information on Artsy for educational and other non-commercial purposes. Public domain works are currently accessible.

Etsy API

Screenshot: Artsy

9. SketchFab Download API

SketchFab is a creative community platform for 3D models and other VR or AR content. The SketchFab APITrack this API enables developers to download more than 300,000 free models, available under Creative Commons licenses. Models are downloaded in glTF format.

10. Scratch API

Scratch is a free resource geared toward educating children on animation technology and web development tools. Scratch can be used to program interactive games, stories, and animations within their online editor. Using the Scratch APITrack this API, developers can pass project IDs in order to access project data in the form of JSON-formatted responses. Returned data will include the associated username, date of creation, description of the project, ID, the project thumbnail, the title of the project, and the project's URL source.

11. TextArt's ASCII Art API

The ASCII Art APITrack this API lets developers create ASCII (plain,machine-readable text) images from actual pictures PNG or JPG pictures. By using this API, developers have the ability to generate different ASCII style text based images of a photo or any other images.

12. deviantART API

DeviantART is a large online social network for artists and art enthusiasts. Users can upload images of works of art, make favorite lists, comment on the art, and more. The deviantART Sta.sh APITrack this API enables submission of creative content to deviantART from any source.

13. New York and Tokyo Art Beat APIs

The Art Beat network provides calendars and reviews for Art events in New York and Tokyo. Art Beat provides the New York Art Beat APITrack this API and the Tokyo Art Beat APITrack this API, which provide news on art and design events, exhibition listings, show reviews, and photo reports for their prospective cities. These XML APIs let developers access NY and Tokyo art and design event names, descriptions and prices, and is useful for artist, audience, gallery and art museum applications.

14. Harvard Art Museums

The Harvard Art Museums APITrack this API integrates museum's collections into an application. Users gain access to data about Objects, People, Exhibitions, Publications, and Galleries. It is available in REST-style architecture with JSON data and API Key access.

Admire more than 100 Art APIs, along with 146 SDKs and 45 Source Code Samples in our Art category.

Be sure to read the next Art article: The Art Institute of Chicago Adds Public API Access to Exhaustive Collection of Museum Data