Your paintings Uncovering the nation's art collection In association with The Public Catalogue Foundation

Archives for February 2012

110,000 Paintings Now Online!

Sara Hughes | 15:34 UK time, Thursday, 16 February 2012

Progress on Your Paintings is moving steadily towards our 200,000 target, with another 6,000 pictures just added.

These include 2,000 paintings from the London Borough of Camden and 3,000 from Merseyside.

Camden has ten varied and diverse collections including the Wellcome Library’s Historical Archive of Health and Wellbeing, and Central Saint Martins Art School. The collections include fantastic works by Canaletto, Hogarth, William Orpen, Terry Frost and Raqib Shaw amongst others.



An Election: 1. The Entertainment by William Hogarth

An Election: 1. The Entertainment (William Hogarth, Collection: Sir John Soane’s Museum)


The 3,000 paintings from National Museums Liverpool are located across seven Merseyside museum sites, including the Lady Lever Art Gallery, the Walker Art Gallery and The Museum of Liverpool

The Merseyside collections include works by Rembrandt and Rubens, along with later pieces by artists including Cézanne, Degas, Lucian Freud and Monet

These paintings are just some of the highlights from the 60 collections we’ve added.
You can browse the rest of the new additions or search your own region’s collections as well.

Don’t forget you can help the BBC and the Public Catalogue Foundation identify and catalogue what’s in each painting. Tagging is easy and fun 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.

You can now find out the latest from @Your_Paintings on twitter.


Ambassadorial Art: The Government Art Collection

Post categories:

Adam Jackman | 15:21 UK time, Wednesday, 15 February 2012

The Government Art Collection (GAC) must be one of the most well-travelled art collections in the world. Its works are on display in nearly every capital city and are constantly on the move.

In the 35 years since Vanessa Bell’s Byzantine Lady was acquired by the collection, she’s been dispatched to ambassadors’ residences in Berlin, Bonn and Beijing. Now she’s back in London at the Whitechapel Gallery, featuring in Simon Schama’s Travelling Light exhibition, which explores the ideas of travel and cultural exchange.

The GAC as a whole promotes British art and history whilst contributing to cultural diplomacy. When deciding where a particular work will be displayed, the GAC aims to capture cultural resonances, and also considers associations with particular locations.

For instance, the Jewish artist David Bomberg’s Interior of the Armenian Church, Jerusalem has hung for nearly 25 years in the ambassador’s residence in Tel Aviv.



George Gordon Byron (1788–1824), 6th Baron Byron, Poet by Thomas Phillips

George Gordon Byron (1788–1824), 6th Baron Byron, Poet (Thomas Phillips; Collection:Government Art Collection)


Similarly, for over a half a century, the ambassador’s residence in Athens has been home to Thomas Phillips' 1814 portrait of Lord Byron, recognising the sitter’s position as a fighter for Greek independence.

Commendably for such a large collection, about three quarters of the GAC’s holdings is on display. The majority hang in the public areas of government buildings in the UK and abroad where they can be appreciated by visitors and staff alike.

And, of course, the GAC’s oil paintings can be viewed online at Your Paintings.


Adam Jackman is an Editorial Assistant at the Public Catalogue Foundation.

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