Art UK: Launch of Ambitious Online Platform to Show The Nation's Art

Nicholas Serota, Director, Tate, said: 

"The development of the Public Catalogue Foundation from publishing well-produced books to the digital offer of 'Your Paintings' and now Art UK is an impressive achievement. An imaginative start-up has become a vital part of the arts infrastructure, making it possible to find and to find out about paintings in more than three thousand public collections. I welcome the ambition to broaden the scope of the project from paintings to sculpture and other forms of visual art."

Gabriele Finaldi, Director of the National Gallery, said: 

"No other country has online access to such an extensive database of paintings as is provided by Art UK. That makes it unique in an international context, and I am delighted that the National Gallery's paintings are available and searchable in this way alongside so many others from British collections. "

Dr. Stephen Bury, Andrew W. Mellon Chief Librarian, The Frick Collection, New York, said: 

"Art UK's innovative combination of digitized collections and crowdsourcing transforms art

history and history itself. If only the USA had such a thing."

Kim Mawhinney, Head of Art, National Museums Northern Ireland, said: 

"Some projects have the capacity to be epoch-making and the development of Art UK may be such a moment in terms of access to art. The transition from 'Your Paintings' to 'Art UK' is undoubtedly a transformation and offers a unique window to the public collections of art across the nations and regions within the UK. It is wonderful that art from across Northern Ireland is a strong contribution to the sum of all the collections presented through this new digital platform.  Those who visit the site will find something very special, engaging and enriching."

David Anderson, Director General of Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales, said:  

"Being part of initiatives such as Art UK is vitally important for Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales. We exist to share Wales' national collections, including our world-class art collection, with new and existing audiences to encourage a greater awareness of, and interest in Wales' culture and heritage.

The digital platform, Art UK, will help us reach people close to home and internationally who would never have considered visiting our Museums before. Not only will it open up access to people who want to browse and enjoy Welsh art collections, it will also be a valuable resource for schools and family learning, as well as an academic research tool. It also has potential to open up further retail opportunities, which is becoming increasingly important for museums across the sector."

Rebecca Hill, Exhibitions and Collections Coordinator, Gallery Oldham, said: 

"The availability of our works online is an excellent tool to counter the commonly held myth that works of art in store are "hidden". Over the past four years we have seen a steady increase in the number of enquiries about our oil paintings, with many of those enquiring directly citing Your Paintings (Art UK's predecessor) as their first point of contact with our collections. I am thrilled that Art UK will soon include our collection's artworks in other media, thus increasing awareness of these."

Dr Simon Chaplin, Director of Culture & Society, Wellcome Trust, said: 

"The Wellcome Trust is delighted to support Art UK by funding the partnership fees all UK medical collections for 3 years. We would like to celebrate the quality and diversity of these collections, many of which had not been catalogued before the Public Catalogue Foundation started its work. Enabling over 250 UK hospitals, medical archives and clinics the opportunity to join Art UK as a partner will allow them to continue to share their collections with the widest possible audience, and create new opportunities for partnership and projects which promote public engagement with medical heritage".

Lauren Marshall, Hall Manager & Audience Development Officer, The York Company of Merchant Adventurers, said: 

"Art UK is a vital resource for smaller collections and our visitors. It allows us to achieve things, which simply would not be possible on our own. It enables us to reach new audiences across the UK and internationally, highlighting the range and breadth of our collections. It also provides smaller collections with a platform for interaction and discussion, not just with other organisations but with art experts, academic institutions and the general public, enabling us to share and disseminate knowledge like never before."

Tim Barton, Managing Director of Global Academic at Oxford University Press, said: 

"We are delighted to have formed a partnership with the Public Catalogue Foundation. Through their site Art UK, which replaces BBC Your Paintings, biographies from the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and content from Grove Art Online will complement and enhance the experience of public art for anyone wanting to find out more via their public library membership."

Emma Baudey, EMEA Arts and Culture manager, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, said: 

"As a leading corporate supporter of the arts we are especially keen to increase public access to the vast amount of art across the UK. With this in mind, we are pleased to be a founding benefactor of Art UK. Projects such as this reach tens of thousands of people not just in this country but around the globe, and are key to demonstrating how the arts can be made more accessible and sustainable for the long term. We hope to contribute to the ongoing public debate around these key issues by partnering with like-minded organisations to support Art UK."

Media Enquiries: Jane Quinn / Dennis Chang, Bolton & Quinn, +44(0)20-7221-5000, Email Contact / Email Contact


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