LONDON.- Your Paintings
is the first national online museum of all publicly owned oil paintings in the UK. It was launched in June of this year (2011) by the Public Catalogue Foundation and the BBC. It has been announced that a further 40,000 paintings have been uploaded to the site since the launch, taking the total to 104,000 paintings, over half the national collection.
Among the latest painting images uploaded to the site are works by Thomas Brooks (RNLI Grace Darling Museum, Northumberland), Edgar Degas (The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Birmingham), Joshua Reynolds (The University of Aberdeen), Bridget Riley (Morley College, London), Peter Paul Rubens (National Trust, Saltram, Devon) and Henry Whitings Man Wrestling an Alligator from Dingles Fairground Heritage Centre, a world-class collection of British fairground art from the 1880s to the 1980s. In total the works of over 23,000 artists can now be seen on the site.
Your Paintings is the worlds most ambitious initiative to bring an entire nations painting collection to the public online. The UKs collection is an estimated 200,000 oil paintings, held in 3,000 galleries, museums, libraries and public institutions, making it one of the largest and most diverse collections in the world.
Your Paintings is interactive and fully searchable by artist, collection and location, and is enriched with links to the BBCs formidable archive of TV, radio and online resources. It provides links to the collections themselves and encourages users to visit the paintings in person.
To make the site searchable by subject matter over 5,000 members of the public have already signed up as taggers, alongside curators and experts, participating in the enormous task of cataloguing the collection online. These Taggers have already entered over 1.3m tags into the system. Tagging, using the latest crowdsourcing techniques, is revealing a fascinating new layer of rich, and ultimately shareable, data, that will allow searches for a huge range of subject matter across the website.
Your Paintings has recently been recognised at the 2011 British Interactive Media Awards (BIMA), winning first prize in the Arts and Culture category.
Your Paintings reached on average 125,000 unique monthly browsers, in the first three months after launch. (91,000 unique monthly browsers in the UK).
Mark Thompson, Director General, BBC, said I am delighted that Your Paintings has reached this impressive milestone. The website that we have created in partnership with the Public Catalogue Foundation is an important commitment to the cultural sector and a significant example of how the BBC can help in the creation of a digital public space.
Andrew Ellis, Director, the Public Catalogue Foundation, said Your Paintings is a worldwide showcase of the United Kingdoms paintings. The public are invited to play an important role in building and enhancing this website. By tagging what can be seen in each work, everyone can contribute to making Your Paintings a unique and rich learning resource.