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Art Detective aims to improve knowledge of the UK’s public art collection. It is an award-winning, free online network that connects public art collections with specialists and other members of the public. 

Your collection account 

Over 3,300 collection venues are represented on the Art UK website. When you join Art UK, you have automatic access to Art Detective. If you have not received your Art Detective login details, please contact artdetective@artuk.org 

Through Art Detective, you will be able to send Art UK updates and enquiries about artworks in your collection. You can also propose topics for discussion, allowing you to discuss artworks in your collection with experts in the topic area. 

Making enquiries about artworks 

Please go to Art UK and find the artwork you want to comment on. Underneath the image is a link: 'Send information to Art Detective'. Use the drop-down menu to select your topic. Click the link to submit your enquiry. 

Changing information on Art UK yourself

Please make edits using the Art UK Collections Portal. If you think you don't have access, email editorial@artuk.org 

Speaking personally 

Please note that comments made from collection accounts will appear on behalf of the collection. If you are from a collection but would like to comment personally, please register for a personal account (see 'Sign in', and select the option 'I'm new here'). 

We need collections to be involved 

We hope collections can maintain an active presence on Art Detective, as we will send comments and suggestions through the site for the attention of collections. These will include simple suggestions to improve and enhance the artwork record, such as possible spelling mistakes or life dates from sitters’ relatives. Discussion topics proposed by members of the public do not go live immediately. They are reviewed by the Art Detective staff, who inform the collection beforehand.  

To access your list of submissions on Art Detective, please log in and hover your cursor over the circular icon in the top-right corner of the homepage. In that menu, click 'Proposed discussions'. Please note that completed enquiries will be removed from this menu. Submissions are completed either when Art UK believes the query has been resolved or if the enquiry has been moved to the public discussion pages.  

Sharing high-resolution images 

Occasionally, Art Detective contributors may ask to see a high-resolution image of the artwork. Collections own the rights to the high-resolution images of the artworks shown on Art UK, and should decide whether they would like to share them. If a collection feels comfortable sharing a high-resolution image, they can upload it to the relevant discussion, or give Art UK permission to do so. High-resolution images are uploaded at the collection’s own risk as images can be downloaded by anyone viewing the discussion – even by visitors to the site who are not signed up to Art Detective. If you represent a collection and want to share an image with an individual contributor, email artdetective@artuk.org 

All collections should have been sent high-resolution images of their artworks by Art UK. If you have questions about this, please email editorial@artuk.org 

Email notifications  

You will receive email notifications from Art Detective if you are watching a group, watching a discussion, or if Art UK wishes to contact you about a submission. 

You can tell if you are watching a group or a discussion by signing into Art Detective and going to the individual group page, or to the discussions pages. If the 'eye' symbol is red it means you are watching the group or discussion. Click the 'eye' to stop watching groups or discussions. If you are watching a group, you will automatically watch any new discussions that are posted which are assigned to that group. 

More information 

If you would like to contact Art UK privately, please email artdetective@artuk.org