UofG art history project named ‘Best of the Web’

Art Detective, a collaborative project involving the University of Glasgow, has been awarded the Best of the Web award at the prestigious international 2015 Museums and the Web conference.

The University is academic partner with the Public Catalogue Foundation (PCF) in the Art Detective project.

The project brings together academics, experts, curators and members of the public to solve problems about mysterious, unattributed or unidentified paintings in the UK’s public collections.

Since launching in March 2014, Art Detective has led to significant improvements to the UK’s public art collections and has engaged specialists and members of the public with the collection to provide valuable clues to some of the questions that surround them.

The Art Detective project is led within Glasgow University by Andrew Greg, Director of the National Inventory Research Project.

It combines academic rigour, museum sector support and public engagement, while attracting scholarly contributors.   

The College of Arts’ relationship with the Public Catalogue Foundation has lasted just over ten years and included the development and implementation of Your Paintings Tagger, another pioneering public engagement project which is working on increasing the visibility and accessibility of the UK’s art collections.

Tagger brings together museum fine art collections and the general public to improve accessibility to, and knowledge about, the UK’s public collections by crowd-sourcing the systematic creation of descriptive tags. These will enable the sophisticated searching of the PCF/BBC Your Paintings online database of all 210,000 oil paintings in public ownership in the UK.

Andrew Ellis, Director of the Public Catalogue Foundation, says “The design and development of Art Detective was an excellent piece of collaboration between the PCF, the University of Glasgow and Keepthinking. It is wonderful to see the resulting website receive such important recognition at the recent Museums and the Web Conference in Chicago”. 

First published: 27 April 2015

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