External News and Events
2,000 Oil Paintings from the London Borough of Camden Join the Your Paintings Website
The Public Catalogue Foundation (PCF), in partnership with the BBC, today announced that the first 2,000 oil paintings from public collections in the London Borough of Camden have been added to the Your Paintings website for the nation to enjoy. Your Paintings is a project to create a complete online catalogue of every oil painting in the national collection, at bbc.co.uk/yourpaintings
Paintings by Canaletto, Hogarth, Benjamin West, William Orpen, Duncan Grant, Terry Frost and Raqib Shaw are among the 2,000 paintings in Camden that can now be seen on Your Paintings. These paintings are drawn from 10 diverse collections across the borough. Another 2,000 paintings from a further 25 Camden collections will be added to the site later this year as part of this ground-breaking project to reveal the nation’s entire oil painting collection to the public.
The Camden collections going online include the the Wellcome Library which offers an insight into the history of health and wellbeing. The work of aspiring students – some now well-established artists – can be seen in the Central Saint Martins collection whilst Camden Council’s paintings bring to light mid-20th century works by well-known artists living in the borough at the time. The Local Studies and Archives Centre and Burgh House further illuminate the history and artistic legacy of the area, particularly Hampstead. Hospital art collections are represented by University College London Hospitals and the Royal Free. Finally, the works at the Sir John Soane’s Museum, including Hogarth’s ‘A Rake’s Progress’, form part of Soane’s eclectic personal collection.
To help the BBC and PCF identify and catalogue what can be seen in each painting, the public is being invited to ‘tag’ the nation’s paintings. Tagging is fun, easy and you don’t need to be an art expert to do it. The results will allow future users of the Your Paintings website to find paintings of subjects that interest them. Your Paintings Tagger is at http://tagger.thepcf.org.uk
About Your Paintings
Your Paintings is a partnership project between the BBC and the Public Catalogue Foundation (PCF) to put the United Kingdom’s entire collection of oil paintings online at www.bbc.co.uk/yourpaintings. This website is emerging as a unique learning resource, showing not only photographs and information about each painting but also selected BBC TV archive footage and links to further information. The website was launched at the National Gallery in the summer of 2011. Currently, the site shows around 110,000 paintings from over 1,400 collections.
In total, the national oil painting collection amounts to some 200,000 works, held in 3,000 galleries, museums, universities, hospitals and other public institutions from across the UK, making it one of the largest and most diverse collections of paintings in the world. The plan is for all these paintings to be online by the end of 2012.
With the help of crowd-sourcing technology pioneered by the Astrophysics Department at the University of Oxford to classify galaxies, and art historical input from the University of Glasgow, the public are being invited to go online and help classify or ‘tag’ the paintings catalogued by the PCF so that in due course the paintings can be searchable by subject matter. Paintings can be tagged by visiting http://tagger.thepcf.org.uk/
About the Public Catalogue Foundation
The PCF is a registered charity. It was launched in 2003 to create a photographic record of all the oil paintings in public ownership in the United Kingdom. In addition to publishing its work online, the PCF is also publishing a series of printed catalogues.
The painstaking research to locate the paintings up and down the country and collate the data has been carried out by 50 researchers. Over 30 fine art photographers have been employed to take photographs of these paintings over the life of the project. London-based staff focus on fundraising, processing and editing the data that comes in from the field, and clearing copyright.
The PCF is funded principally by grants and donations. Under 20 per cent of its funding comes from the public sector. Whilst many hundreds of individuals and institutions have supported its work, the PCF’s principal funders are Arts Council England, Christie’s, the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, the Garfield Weston Foundation, the J Paul Getty Jnr Charitable Trust, The Monument Trust, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and the Wolfson Foundation.
The PCF was founded by Dr Fred Hohler. Its Trustees are Charles Gregson (Chairman of the PCF), Robert Hiscox (Chairman of Hiscox plc), Menna McGregor (Clerk of the Mercers’ company), Alex Morrison (Founder and Managing Managing Director of Cogapp), Richard Roundell (Vice–Chairman of Christie’s UK), Marc Sands (Director of Audiences and Media at Tate), Dr Charles Saumarez Smith (Chief Executive of the Royal Academy), Graham Southern (Founding Director of Blain Southern) and the artist Alison Watt. The Director is Andrew Ellis.
For more information go to www.thepcf.org.uk