Exploring art online – a look at Your Paintings (BBC) and Artfinder
June 25, 2011 in Inspiration
We take a look at some of the great new online resources that are springing up to help engage the wider public in the rich cultural heritage of art that Britain possesses.
A join venture between the BBC and the Public Catalogue Foundation as well as many collections and museums throughout the UK, so far Your Paintings has published and catalogued over 63,000 paintings.
From Andy Warhol and Francis Bacon to Picasso and Da Vinci, there’s a LOT of beautiful, largely quite well known pieces to look through on the site. But Your Paintings say that there’s an estimated 200,000 oil paintings in the UK’s national collection (nearly 100 times the amount in the National Gallery’s collection in London) – which means that there’s still a lot more to process, but that this resource is going to expand pretty quickly into something much more definitive.
At Curator that makes us quite excited. We have a big stack of art books covering a big timescale here, but having a comprehensive catalogue online that can be searched is going to be very special.
To make Your Paintings as great a resource as it can be, they are calling for any would-be-curators to help tag some of the images with appropriate information, noting the contents of the image by marking “things, people, places and events” where possible. It’s an exercise in crowd sourcing so probable to throw up a few errors, but it sounds like only tags that are confirmed by several taggers will be published. So if you have a spare moment, help them out with a little of your time?
Another really innovative web based tool for discovering and sharing exciting artwork is Artfinder. There’s already hundreds of thousands of paintings on the site sourced from artists, galleries, museums and collections globally.
What’s really great about Artfinder is that you can start building your own profile on the site that will help you better find art that you’re likely to enjoy most – you’ll receive personalised recommendations based on art that you like.
Embedded Twitter and Facebook tools also mean that you can share your finds with friends and see who has similar taste to you (or who really doesn’t!).
If you’re familiar with the recent explosion of popularity in online music services like Spotify, then you might also like Artfinder’s brand new tool called Artplayer. We think it’s very cool. It’s similar to a slideshow that you can sit back and relax to (or skip back and forth to other paintings), sorted by artist or movement, or even see a set that’s been beautifully curated by your friends. Of course, you can make an art ‘playlist’ and pass it on to others too.