The paintings at Bridport Town Hall are now available for people around the world to view online as they become part of the national collection, through a new project called Your Painting. The Public Catalogue Foundation (PCF) in partnership with the BBC has created a complete catalogue of every oil painting in public collections on a dedicated website: www.bbc.co.uk/yourpaintings
In all, the national collection amounts to some 200,000 works held in galleries, museums, libraries and public institutions all over the country, making it probably one of the largest and most diverse collections of paintings in the world. The next phase of the project involves the public joining the experts in decided how the works will be catalogues as they tag and classify each painting. This tagging will allow future users to do their own searches – these could range from a simple object such as a river, boat or costume to deeper research to look for places, people, styles or movements.
Andrew Ellis, Director of the Public Catalogue Foundation said: “No country has ever embarked on such a monumental project to showcase its entire painting collection online”. Roly Keating, BBC Director of Archive Content said: “Your Painting will be a hugely valuable learning resource for our audience and demonstrates the power of working with partners to open up the nation’s cultural resources”
The paintings at Bridport Town Hall, which include probably the largest collection of paintings made by Fra Newbery for public places, will be on show for the general public when the Town Hall opens following its restoration. During the restoration project, the paintings have also had some repairs and conservation of their own. Bob Gillis, Bridport Town Clerk said: “the Your Paintings project, together with the general opening of the Town Hall for the first time following completion of the Heritage and Conservation Project at the end of the year, is very exciting. Bridport is incredibly fortunate to have such a fine collection of work by such a renowned artist. These paintings offer a fascinating insight into the local history and it is very pleasing that they will now be available for everyone around the world to see”.
To see Bridport’s paintings logo onto the Your Paintings site: www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings and search for ‘Newbery’ or follow the links to collections and find Bridport Town Hall. The paintings are also available to view here.