Quantcast
Latest Stories

Online museum showcases Britain’s hidden art



LONDON — Britain has some of the best galleries in the world, but the vast majority of the oil paintings in public ownership have for decades been hidden away in private offices or storage. Until now.

By the end of the year, 210,000 paintings will have been dusted off and photographed for inclusion in a ground-breaking online museum, accessible to members of the public at just a click of a button.

“The UK has a very large collection of oil paintings in public ownership and about 80 percent are not on view,” said Andy Ellis, the director of the Public Catalogue Foundation which has organised the project with the BBC.

In one of the most ambitious art projects in the world, curators have spent ten years tracking down publicly-owned paintings by 45,000 artists from every corner of Britain, from the Shetlands to the Channel Islands.

Some have been in storage and others hung in buildings where there is no access to members of the public, but they are finally seeing the light of day on a dedicated website, “Your Paintings”.

Museums have helped out where they could but the catalogue required some detective work as about 100 researchers tracked down paintings in universities, police and fire stations, libraries and hospitals.

The hunt took them to a zoo, a lighthouse and to art colleges that held some early works by their famous alumni, including David Hockney.

There were other nice surprises.

A London hospital had a Veronese, a huge triptych by William Hogarth adorned a wall of the town hall in Bristol, surrounded by computers and photocopiers, while a Whistler was found in a Cold War bunker.

Unlike the Google Art Project, an online initiative cataloguing works of art from museums across the world, the British website only includes paintings in oil, acrylic and egg tempera.

This is partly because the curators decided that including watercolours and drawings would have busted its £6-million ($9.5-million) budget, largely funded by private donations.

But within these techniques, anything and everything is welcome. The work of thousands of obscure painters, such as a fireman who dabbled during the Blitz, is pictured alongside masterpieces by Rembrandt and Raphael.

Ten percent of the paintings remain unattributed, but the curators hope members of the public may be able to help identify their artists, as well as their often mysterious subjects.

“The project is democratic. We include all the works, irrespective of the quality, the condition of the work,” said Ellis.

“The point of this project is to allow everyone to see all the works in the collection and then make the decision themselves about what they like and what they don’t like.”

He added: “We don’t think there is any equivalent anywhere in the world.”

Ellis, a former financier who was drawn into the project through his passion for art, is already looking at how to expand the museum to include sculptures.

“It’s the ultimate realization of Andre Malraux’s dream of a museum without walls,” commented Charles Saumarez Smith, chief executive of the Royal Academy, referring to the post-World War II French writer’s vision of how photography would democratize art.


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter




Recent Stories:

25 cops ordered relieved over links to drugs 13 mins elapsed Bloodied shirt, unwashed fork: JPII relics abound 21 mins elapsed 4 airline passengers from northern Mindanao cleared of MERS 34 mins elapsed Pacquiao has to go through PBA Rookie draft 48 mins elapsed Guiao summoned by PBA for name-calling incident 57 mins elapsed Metro Pacific acquires stake in Victorias 1 hour elapsed Drilon denies involvement in pork scam 1 hour elapsed Complex health care system for California’s elderly and poor explained 1 hour elapsed
Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Art , Britain , Internet , Lifestyle , Online museum , technology



Copyright © 2014,
.
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement Advertisement
  1. Mark Caguioa lambasts Ginebra teammates on Twitter
  2. ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  3. No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  4. Nokia to be named Microsoft Mobile
  5. Senator wants to probe PH slow Internet connection
  6. Bam Aquino becomes Master Splinter’s son after Wiki hack
  7. Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  8. New York police Twitter campaign backfires badly
  9. PH has slowest internet in Southeast Asia
  10. Did Deniece Cornejo lambast Vhong Navarro on social media?
  1. PH has slowest internet in Southeast Asia
  2. Mark Caguioa lambasts Ginebra teammates on Twitter
  3. Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  4. Did Deniece Cornejo lambast Vhong Navarro on social media?
  5. Senator wants to probe PH slow Internet connection
  6. Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  7. Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  8. Judge in Apple v. Samsung patent trial fed up with smart phones in court
  9. Mommy Dionisia sings ‘Riking Bull,’sends netizens ablaze
  10. Nokia to be named Microsoft Mobile
  1. #RejectedBbPilipinas2014Questions flood Twitter
  2. Did Deniece Cornejo lambast Vhong Navarro on social media?
  3. Netizens fall in love with Crimea prosecutor Natalia Poklonskaya
  4. Mommy Dionisia Pacquiao scores, takes over social media
  5. Nude and so dangerous
  6. Mommy Dionisia sings ‘Riking Bull,’sends netizens ablaze
  7. Russia tries to curb Crimean prosecutor’s Internet fame
  8. Memes flourish after Pacquiao victory
  9. PH has slowest internet in Southeast Asia
  10. Netizens thank Capa for Lee arrest

News

  • 25 cops ordered relieved over links to drugs
  • Bloodied shirt, unwashed fork: JPII relics abound
  • 4 airline passengers from northern Mindanao cleared of MERS
  • Drilon denies involvement in pork scam
  • Complex health care system for California’s elderly and poor explained
  • Sports

  • Pacquiao has to go through PBA Rookie draft
  • Guiao summoned by PBA for name-calling incident
  • Promoters Dela Hoya, Arum in talks for Pacquiao-Alvarez—report
  • Benzema guides Madrid to 1-0 win over Bayern
  • Suns’ Goran Dragic win NBA’s Most Improved Player award
  • Lifestyle

  • Gongs and southern dances star in a workshop at San Francisco Bayanihan Center
  • This woman ate what?
  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • Entertainment

  • Smithsonian wants photos, videos for ‘Day in the Life of Asian Pacific Americans’
  • What Garcia Marquez left behind
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Business

  • Metro Pacific acquires stake in Victorias
  • How ‘one percent’ economic elite was uncovered
  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Technology

  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • Obama to visit Filipino soldiers in Fort Bonifacio
  • Fil-Am youth conferences unite under one theme
  • Embassy advisory: Filipinos still need visas to enter US
  • No travel restriction to Mideast, DFA clarifies
  • PH-HK relations repaired, but families of victims still being courted
  • Advertisement
    Marketplace