UK Project Puts Every Publicly-Owned Painting Online

PCF photography at Stourhead (National Trust) © Dan Brown
PCF photography at Stourhead (National Trust) © Dan Brown

When Fred Hohler got peeved 14 years ago that a catalog did not exist of the paintings in Cambridge’s Fitzwilliam Museum, the seed for an unprecedented cultural heritage project was planted. Hohler's discontent led to a project that cataloged every oil painting in public ownership throughout the UK.

Hohler began the Public Catalogue Foundation (a registered charity) which has documented details and images of 212,000 paintings - by 40,000 artists held in 3,200 locations - in 86 volumes. Through a partnership with the BBC, digitized artworks were made accessible to all on the website Your Paintings.

In comparison, the Google Art Project currently has about 78,300 artworks from 460 cultural partners posted online.

Your Paintings allows site visitors to tag entries, making this massive art encyclopedia searchable by keywords beyond just art categories. This enables searches by subject, sitter, location and more, such as every image of the Duke of Wellington.

Since 80% of the publicly-owned paintings were in storage or not easily viewable, the project has essentially opened up a new worldwide gallery for the UK's art. Besides museum collections, paintings in police stations, courts, town halls, schools, hospitals, and even a lighthouse were documented.

Next to be catalogued are about 100,000 sculptures and statuary. The Heritage Lottery Fund has offered initial support of £2.84m.

More News Feed Headlines

Kerry James Marshall's Past Times (1997) set a new record for a living African American artist of $21.1m with fees

Record Prices Abound at Sotheby's $392 Million Contemporary Art Sale

  • May 17, 2018 12:41

On Wednesday, Sotheby's tallied $392.3m total with fees for contemporary art in New York, setting ...

Read More

Richard Gray

Richard Gray, Noted Gallerist, Remembered

  • May 17, 2018 12:06

Richard Gray, a celebrated art dealer, civic leader, and philanthropist, died Wednesday morning ...

Read More

The Storm on the Sea of Galilee, from 1633, is the only seascape by the Dutch Golden Age painter Rembrandt van Rijn.  It was cut from its frame and stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1990.

Man Busted in Fraud Scam After Offering Gardner Museum's Missing Masterpieces on Craigslist

  • May 16, 2018 13:57

A West Virginia man has pleaded guilty to wire fraud for offering online two stolen artworks from ...

Read More

Jan Six with the rediscovered Rembrandt.

Dutch Art Dealer Rediscovers a Rembrandt

  • May 16, 2018 13:04

Dutch art dealer Jan Six says he knew right away that a painting catalogued as by an unknown ...

Read More

Related Press Releases

Related Events from ArtfixDaily Calendar

 

ArtfixDaily Artwire