Friday, January 27, 2017

Would you like to be an Art Detective?

I'm beginning to feel a bit like an art detective!  

Regular readers of this blog will realise I've not been doing a lot of posting of late. Well the reason - which I still can't talk about in any detail - is that I've been engaged in a hunt for evidence that a painting is what it is thought to be.

As in the owners are very confident it is what they say it is - but the painting lacked documentation of the sort generated via a gallery sale because it's never been anywhere near a gallery.

Anyway I've been engaged in a fascinating chase of every last titbit of facts that could be unearthed about it. The great thing to date is that for every bit of information I could find I've also now got independent verification and it all stacks up and makes a consistent trail.

and so we move on to the next stage via a rather lengthy statement of provenance....

Of which more later - as in another post....

Art UK and the Art Detective


This morning I got a request to go and advise on a painting on the Art Detective website - which is really what this post is about.

I knew that:
Also that it is a greatwebsite for seeing art held in public collections in the UK
Discover 213,721 artworks. Explore 3,256 venues. Meet 38,402 artists.
What I didn't know is that it has
The Art Detective website
Or that it had won an award
Art Detective received the Museums and the Web 'Best of the Web' award in 2015 (past overall winners include the Brooklyn Museum, the Indianapolis Museum of Art and the Rijksmuseum). So far, this is the only time a British institution has won the award.
Anyway this morning I ended up reading:
Types of Art Detective contributors
  • Members of the public
  • Art UK
  • Collection – the collections featured on the Art UK website
  • Group Leader – someone who leads a discussion linked to a particular group. Groups cover subject matter such as portraits, maritime history, Scottish art, etc. Each Group Leader has an established reputation in the subject area
  • The Panel – a small group comprising respected academics and practitioners who will only be contacted if Art UK, Collection and Group Leader cannot come to a conclusion
as a preliminary to getting involved this morning in a discussion about a flower painting owned by Worcester College, Oxford on a discussion titled Does anyone recognise the monogram on this flower painting?

I was intrigued as to why the discussion to date had gone backwards and forwards in terms of looking at the monogram - but nobody was looking at the painting, the media and the skill employed in the painting - which is where I started. You can see my comments in the thread.

I guess if you ask a specific question about a monogram or signature that's what people tend to focus on whereas I've always maintained the signature is always in the painting and its subject matters and how it is designed and painting.

Feel free to add your own perspective to the discussion - but you'll have to sign up and become an art detective first!

The Art Detective website is split into sections.

It has Groups which focus on different genres and centuries


People work via Discussions - and here's the current list with my one at the top of the page.

Schedule of current discussions
Plus it also has a resource for those engaged in research to identify a painting called  How to research a painting: a beginner’s guide

and finally it has Discoveries!

Some of you will remember a weekly series of posts I used to do on this blog called Who Painted this?  For those missing that series, I think I may have found you another challenge for the brain cells - except in this one the person asking the question doesn't have the answer!

1 comment:

Marion Podolski said...

How fascinating! I'd never heard of the Art UK website, and I'm looking forward to exploring it now. Thank you!