As more art journals 'go digital', it's getting easier to find reliable images online via Clemson University Libraries subscriptions. The quality of online images varies, however: 'born digital' quality is better than PDFs, which are typically compressed images of scans from print originals. The higher the rate of image compression, the greater the sacrifice in image quality.
To locate art journals in your area of interest, use the Clemson Libraries Basic Search page, enter your search term (e.g., photography, ceramics, painting) as "Subject," then select "Electronic Resources" from the dropdown menu on the right. In the results list, look for your subject heading followed by "--Periodicals" and click on that link.
Select an appropriate journal title from your results and click through to an interface that allows you to search within the journal's contents, usually marked by the phrase "Search within this publication" or "Search within this journal."
Use the flickr® Advanced Search page to search for images by keyword combination. Each search result includes "License" information to the lower right of the image. Use the delimiter at the bottom of the advanced search page to restrict your results to Creative Commons images (meaning images the creators have opted to release for public use). Before using CC images, though, make sure you understand the categories and types of licenses. Attribution is a basic requirement for all images.
"Open access" availability does not mean that the images in these collections are in the public domain--rather, it refers to their accessibility for research and educational purposes. For copyright and use restrictions, locate and read the image use policy for each collection.