Friday, 1 July 2011

Is your artist ancestor emerging from obscurity?

Over 60,000 previously inaccessible paintings from over 800 collections of UK publicly funded museums and institutions, the work of more than 15,000 artists, can now be viewed online at http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/

Thousands more paintings are to be added every month, with the aim of having the complete national collection (estimated at around 200,000 works) available within 18 months.


So far only one of the works of artists who lurk in distant branches of my family tree are in the online collection.  John Northwood (1836–1902) is depicted in a handsome portrait by his son, also John.

You can search for titles and subjects as well. Perhaps there's a picture deemed collectable of a location in your family history.

I understand Library and Archives Canada plan to put the complete (?) collection of the National Portrait Gallery online. That collection contains "more than 20,000 paintings, drawings and prints, 4 million photographs, several thousand caricatures, and ten thousand medals and philatelic items." Will LAC adopt the same strategy of releasing the collection online gradually?  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It will be marvellous to see paintings without having to go "across the Pond" to view them.
However, it is like a dream come true to think that we may be able to see the Canadian portraits, photographs etc. which are stored away and not available for viewing-especially given that the plans for the Canadian Portrait Gallery were cancelled. Anne S.