Museum paintings provide final piece of 10 year project

10 October 2012

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The Public Catalogue Foundation have visited the National Football Museum to take the final photographs of a ten-year project to catalogue the nation’s oil paintings and make them available for all to view online. 

In total, approaching 2,800 collections across the United Kingdom have participated in the project ranging from the National Trust with 12,587 paintings to Falkirk Stadium with just one. Already 172,000 paintings are on the Your Paintings website (www.bbc.co.uk/yourpaintings) with the full 210,000 paintings expected to be online by the middle of December. These paintings are the work of 45,000 artists.

The National Football Museum holds 54 oil and acrylic paintings which will be added to the Your Paintings website in December. These include Michael Browne’s The Art of the Game – a portrait (on long term loan to the museum) of Eric Cantona and other Manchester United footballers in a Renaissance-inspired canvas measuring 10ft by 8ft.

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said: “The inclusion of the National Football Museum’s 54 paintings marks the completion of an ambitious project that is a world first. Never before has an entire nation’s oil paintings been made available online and this tremendous achievement means that our incredible collection of more than 200,000 works will be more accessible to everyone than ever before.”

Your Paintings is the first project of its kind to create a complete online catalogue of every oil painting in a national collection. It is a project that will benefit art enthusiasts, students, curators, researchers, tourists and anyone unable to make the journey to the collections.

Kevin Moore, Director of the National Football Museum, said: “This is a fantastic project and something the National Football Museum is very excited to be a part of. The oil paintings are key pieces within the museum and this is a wonderful way to open up our collection to a much wider audience; we’re really proud to have them included in the first ever, online catalogue of its kind.”

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.

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