This month marks the first anniversary of our partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies, working on their exciting Connects app. With a year under our belts, now seems like the perfect time to round up where we've got to so far, and some of the highlights we have coming next.
However, we'll start with a quick reminder of what Bloomberg Connects is and how Art UK is involved. Bloomberg Connects is a free digital guide to cultural organisations around the world, enabling its users to access arts and culture from mobile devices from any place at any time. Art UK supports our Partner Collections to join Bloomberg Connects. The collections benefit from free technical infrastructure and support and become part of a growing international community of world-famous art collections.
Tap here using a mobile or tablet to download the free Bloomberg Connects app and explore for yourself. You can also search for 'Bloomberg Connects' on the Google Play or Apple App stores.
The Art UK guide was launched on the Bloomberg Connects app in July 2021. It gives a taste of the UK national collection and can be accessed by a worldwide audience. The guide offers stories, podcasts and the online talk series Art Unlocked. Content is updated regularly, showcasing just some of the 50,000 artists spread across over 3,400 institutions represented on Art UK.
Following on from the launch of our own guide, both Pallant House Gallery and the Graves Gallery in Sheffield launched their guides. You can use the Graves Gallery's guide to explore some of their highlights and favourite works, including works by Paul Cézanne, Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, J. M. W. Turner and Grayson Perry. As well as highlights from their permanent collection, Pallant House Gallery has used their guide to explore various temporary exhibitions, including 'Hockney to Himid', which displayed six decades of British print-making.
The next guide to launch came from Penlee House Gallery & Museum. At Penlee, they're currently celebrating 25 years of collecting new works for their collection. Highlights from their exhibition 'Jewels in the Crown' can be found on their Connects guide, along with bespoke audio interpretation provided by curator Michael Harris.
Most recently, we have helped the Royal Scottish Academy and Hunterian Museum & Art Gallery launch guides on the Connects app. The Hunterian's guide contains everything from paintings by James Whistler to furniture by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, a terrifying spider crab, archaeology from the Antonine Wall and an adorable tiny dinosaur footprint. For something more contemporary, check out the RSA's guide to their 196th Annual Exhibition, featuring work from some of Scotland's most prominent artists.
Looking ahead, there's lots more exciting stuff to come! They might be over 400 miles apart, but Compton Verney and Aberdeen Art Gallery are our next two partners launching guides on the Connects app. To guide visitors through their varied collections, the team at Compton Verney have devised themed tours on disabled lives, folk art and LGBT+ subject matter, while in Aberdeen the highlights include works by artists as varied as Joan Eardley, Claude Monet and Gavin Turk.
And we're not done there. Still to come are guides for institutions all across the country, from Falmouth Art Gallery in Cornwall to the Ben Uri Gallery & Museum in London and the McLean Museum & Art Gallery in Inverclyde, Scotland, with more in the pipeline. So what are you waiting for? Download the Bloomberg Connects app and start exploring.
Ben Reiss, Collections Content and Liaison Officer