These institutions offer free downloading of images of artworks from their collections which are in the public domain:
Images in ARTstor with the IAP tag can be used for publishing and educational use, without the need to request additional permissions from contributing museums. More info about the IAP program can be found here: http://www.artstor.org/what-is-artstor/w-html/services-publishing.shtml
UNC Library Catalog Search
TIP The entire section of the library with call numbers starting with NK (1st floor) is devoted to books about the decorative arts, including textiles and metalwork. You'll find a great number of books featuring patterns in this section of the library. Dont' forget to look in the Oversize books section too (also on the 1st floor).
NK1700 – 2195
NK2200 – 2750
NK3700 – 4695
NK5100 – 5440
NK6400 – 8459
NK8800 – 9505.5
NK9600 – 9955
Biographical dictionaries and encyclopedias provide biographical data (such as birth and death dates and lists of works), bibliographies and essays that are authored by experts in the field.