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Our History

The concept behind Bridgeman Images emerged in 1972, when Lady Harriet Bridgeman CBE identified a need for a platform which makes artworks and illustrations easily available on a global scale. She discovered there was a lack of access to art, particularly in terms of acquiring black and white prints or colour transparencies. Many of the world’s greatest artworks were inaccessible to the public, publishers and academics. The development of Bridgeman Images has enabled the formation of a creative community and access to a vast selection of images and footage. This has also provided an opportunity for artists, museums, institutions and collections to increase both their cultural reach and their revenue.

Bridgeman Images now has offices across London, New York, Paris, Berlin and Bologna. We have become a central resource for accessing and licensing fine art, photography and archive images. We currently represent exclusive world-famous artists and collaborate with a range of renowned galleries and museums. This includes the British Library, the Royal Collection Trust, the Ashmoleum Museum Oxford, Christie’s and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Our collection of over 4 million assets spans centuries, specialisms, geographies and mediums. Through these partnerships, we have built the leading global platform for contemporary artists.

We are proud to be pioneering a model of sharing licensed income with image suppliers, therefore producing significant funds for conservation, restoration, exhibitions and acquisitions globally. This model of supporting licensing and commissions has enabled Bridgeman Images to generate essential income for museums, institutions and private collections, helping them to survive the global pandemic. Through this, we can support the art world while simultaneously providing exclusive content and expert help.

Since the creation of the Bridgeman Images, we have acquired an unparalleled database which illustrates centuries of artistic practices. Our collection incorporates paintings, anthropological objects, contemporary artworks, documentary footage, vintage and modern photography, maps, newsreels, sculptures and textiles. This is continuously updated, allowing us to rapidly integrate contemporary pieces which are digitised to the highest quality. The collection ranges from masterpieces held by national museums to hidden gems discovered within private collections. Our digital archive delivers wider access to these images. With half a century of experience, we are delighted to now be a creative hub for art, culture and history.

Since the founding of Bridgeman Images, Lady Bridgeman has continued to support wider access to arts and culture. She has subsequently been awarded the European Women of Achievement in the Arts (1997), International Business Woman of the Year (2005) and a lifetime award by the British Association of Picture Libraries in recognition of her contribution to the industry. In 2006, she founded the Artists’ Collecting Society, the only not-for-profit Community Interest Company dedicated to the collection of the Artist’s Resale Right.


Jaune, rouge, bleu (huile sur toile), 1925, Wassily Kandinsky, Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France
Jaune, rouge, bleu (huile sur toile), 1925, Wassily Kandinsky, Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France / Bridgeman Images


We are the world's leading specialists in the distribution of art, culture and history images and footage for reproduction; with nearly 50 years' experience in supplying images from the most prestigious museums, collections and artists.


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