The UK is set to become the first country in the world to create a free-to-access online photographic showcase of its publicly owned sculpture. The first photographic records will appear on Art UK in early 2019.
Many of these 170,000 works are hidden away, without records, images or online access, and many public monuments are not fully recorded and are at risk.
The three-year project focuses on sculpture dating from the last 1,000 years, held in public collections and outdoor locations across the UK. The national sculpture collection is truly global, offering insights into diverse cultures including twelfth-century Nigeria, Victorian Britain and 1960s New York.
The ambitious project is transforming the way people access and learn about their sculpture heritage, and will allow audiences to share knowledge, exchange opinions and visit sculptures, both in person and online.
Art Detective aims to improve knowledge of the UK’s public art collection. It is an award-winning, free-to-use online network that connects public art collections with members of the public and other providers of specialist knowledge.
Tagger was a crowd-sourcing project that invited the public to tag art with words and also put artworks into categories. The resulting tags are invaluable, as they allow visitors to Art UK to search artworks by subject matter.
The project was created in partnership with the Citizens Science Alliance team based in the Astrophysics Department at the University of Oxford, and staff at the Art History Department at the University of Glasgow. We also worked closely with Oxford University's Department of Engineering Science.
In 2019 we aim to re-launch the project. This has huge potential for encouraging people to engage with the artworks in new ways and will help users to better navigate the website.
You can help us achieve this by making a donation towards Art UK and supporting a community of thousands of taggers helping to tag the nation’s art.