- The aim was to digitise and provide a comprehensive online catalogue of all the oil paintings in public ownership in the UK.
- As yet it does not provide any record of the watercolours, sculpture, drawing and prints also held by public collections - more's the pity.
- For some reason the website for 'Your Paintings' was hosted by the BBC and I never quite understood the rationale for this.
Your Paintings has now been replaced by "Art UK" (http://artuk.org/).
(I can only assume their marketing 'bright spark' forgot to look at the phrase on Google first and didn't spot the competition for this keyword phrase!)
Art UK is the successor to Your Paintings. It is a joint initiative between the Public Catalogue Foundation (now known as Art UK), 3,000 museums and other art collections, and the BBC.Wikipedia explains the history - although I think the first sentence is very confusing.
So basically, the initiative was run by the Public Catalogue Foundation - who also published the actual catalogues per county or institution - and now that organisation is known as Art UK. On the new site you can.
- Discover 212,732 artworks - these can be differentiated by Region, Type, Topic and Style (which is why I now know that London has no examples of work by the Scottish Colourists but I do know where the oil paintings by Elizabeth Blackadder are located)
- Explore 3,261 venues where oil paintings and collections are held across the UK. These can be sorted by region and type of venue.
- Meet 38,370 artists -
- access to some of the BBC iWonder Guides to specific topics such as
- How does art help us remember World War One? (in liaison with the Imperial War Museum)
- Face of Britain: Portraits that capture a changing nation (in liaison with the National Portrait Gallery)
- art events across the UK - via Culture 24 - so you can see, for example, all the events that are on this weekend across the UK
How do I know this? Well I've tried it and it's not without its problems.
I'm actually very surprised at some of the practical problems. If I'd been project managing this initiative there is no way this would have gone live without having some quite major glitches sorted eg
- Once you've chosen a selection, it's very difficult to change it. So if you initially pressed museum and gallery as the type of place you wanted to review, you can't get rid of that selection if you then decide you'd much rather look at was available in another type of venue.
- It's also quite difficult to backtrack out of a filter selection. I ended up doing a lot of pressing of the "back" key! So design and navigability could be improved.
- it apparently excludes some notable museums and galleries people might think are in public ownership - like the Ashmolean Museum at the University of Oxford - which you won't find in the listing of museums and galleries in the South East until you realise that it's "The Ashmolean Museum"
- they've not updated images for those which have recently come out of copyright constraint.
|Still Life of Asparagus|
Adriaen Coorte (c.1660–after 1707)
The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology
There are however very many wonderful pieces of art - like Adriaen Coorte's wonderful painting "Still Life of Asparagus". The website also gives an explanation for paintings - where one is known - plus refers you to the website of the host for more information if it's online
Typically, the artist has isolated his motif and painted it with a refined touch and a subtle combination of soft green and purple. This was one of the artist's favourite themes. It appears in twelve known paintings, mostly in combination with other fruit. Only two of the series show the bundle of asparagus isolated on a ledge as here: one in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, dated 1697, the other in the Fitzwilliam, Cambridge, dated 1703.Re. Coorte's Asparagus
|Sydney Parkinson (1745–1771)|
Sydney Parkinson (c.1745–1771) (attributed to)
Natural History Museum
I think this is a website which is:
- definitely worth bookmarking
- definitely worth exploring
- but take your time - and hope they fix the navigation of the site sooner rather than later.
- Website aims to offer images of all publicly owned art in Britain | The Guardian
- Art UK Launches in London | Apollo Magazine (blog)
- Art UK: Launch of Ambitious Online Platform to Show The Nation's Art |PR Newswire (press release)