Art UK’s roots go back to 2002, when the Public Catalogue Foundation, a registered charity, was founded by Fred Hohler. Struck by the lack of available information about artworks in public collections,
The charity was launched at The National Gallery in April 2003. Its objective was to make a photographic record of the nation’s entire collection of oil paintings in public ownership.
This record was to be made accessible to the public through a series of hardback
Aware that the project would reach a far wider audience by going online, the Public Catalogue Foundation approached the BBC about a possible digital partnership in 2008.
In 2011 the BBC and Public Catalogue Foundation launched the Your Paintings website. The Tagger project was launched at the same time. During that year Charles Gregson succeeded Fred Hohler as Chairman of the charity.
By the time the oil painting
In late 2013 the Masterpieces in Schools project involved schools across the country. In this
Art Detective was launched in 2014. This free-to-use online network connects public art collections with members of the public and providers of specialist knowledge with the aim of improving our knowledge about art in the national collection.
In early 2015, the Art UK Collections Partnership was formed with 200 Founder Partners backing the creation of a shared digital platform for UK public art collections by committing to pay an annual subscription.
In late 2015, the Permissions Portal went live. The Permissions Portal is a secure interface that allows collections and artists to choose how images are licensed, reproduced and shared on Art UK.
In February 2016, following almost two years of preparation, Art UK was launched as the successor to Your Paintings. Whilst the BBC’s role in the project changed, it remained the charity's lead partner in the initiative. Coinciding with the launch, ‘Art UK’ became the operating name for the charity. The ‘Public Catalogue Foundation’ remains the charity’s legal name.
Art UK was built with funding from Arts Council England, the Scottish Government
In the autumn of 2016, Art UK expanded the project to include already
In November 2016, the Art UK Shop was launched. Seven collections helped to pilot the project by allowing us to offer print-on-demand and licensing of their artworks. The Shop also offers collections the opportunity to sell merchandise through what will effectively be an online marketplace for the UK’s Museums and Galleries. The Shop has been built with ACE funding, and with the support of a private foundation.
2017 and beyond
Art UK’s next major