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The Met opens its art collection to Animal Crossing, too

You don’t have to risk bootlegs from Jolly Redd

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Black Stork in a Landscape in Animal Crossing Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via The Met
Nicole Carpenter is a senior reporter specializing in investigative features about labor issues in the game industry, as well as the business and culture of games.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, but there’s another option: Admiring its artwork in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Sure, you can grab some of these famous artworks from Jolly Redd — but these are free and guaranteed legit.

Like The J. Paul Getty Museum before it, The Met made its open access online collection easily importable into Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

It’s very easy to use. You can look through the collection online. Once you’ve decided what to add, click on the universal Share icon — the three dots connected by lines — and you’ll see the Animal Crossing leaf logo. Selecting that will pull up a converted image and its QR code, which you can scan using the Nintendo Switch Online app for Android or iOS.

A screenshot of The Met’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons share button Image: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

I’ve selected Paul Cézanne’s Still Life with Apples and a Pot of Primroses. It’s not necessarily the most easily recognizable image in New Horizons, but it fits quite nicely between my two flamingo lawn ornaments. Unfortunately, Marina is unimpressed.

A painting from The Met imported into Animal Crossing Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

You want Katsushika Hokusai’s The Great Wave? It’s yours. The Unicorn Rests in a Garden? Also available. Black Stork in a Landscape looks great imported into the game — that’s my recommendation. Cropping images to include only clearer, large shapes is also helpful for importing art into the game. Smaller details can get muddy. (Real talk, I should have cropped Still Life with Apples and a Pot of Primroses to focus on a pile of apples.)

If you’re not finding the art you want, check out Getty’s Animal Crossing Art Generator, which can pull images from other museums — so long as they’re IIIF (International Image Interoperability Framework)-compatible. It’s a bit more fiddly than The Met’s application, but it works.

There’s also Jolly Redd, too. He’s the only way you’ll get art into Blathers’ museum, but with these tools you can spread the creativity around your island. That rules.

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