Michael here again with one last blast!
The highlight of my time at Colchester + Ipswich Museums has been digitising part of the works on paper collection in Ipswich. It has proved to be an absorbing project, which has involved delving deeply into the artwork storage boxes at Christchurch Mansion. I have worked with two fantastic and dedicated volunteers over the past three months and we have discovered some wonderful treasures along the way.
The process began with scanning and documenting the drawings, prints and watercolours. The collection includes some fabulous artists and it has been a great privilege to study up close these wonderful artworks. We have digitised 496 pictures from a wide range of artists, including George Frost, John Sell Cotman, John Crome, Philip Wilson Steer and Thomas Churchyard. All are highly regarded East Anglian artists with an international reputation. We noted the work’s condition, measurements and any marks, labels or notes on the reverse, as well as gathering any other relevant information from the files.
We then moved to the offices at Ipswich Museum and began the process of uploading the files to the Art UK website. This has been a particularly exciting element of the project for me. I am delighted to be helping make available online some rarely seen parts of the collection.
Art UK was formerly known as BBC Your Paintings and is an extraordinary resource for art lovers, as it features all the oil paintings in every British public collection. Their new venture is to feature all the works on paper and, as I regularly use the website myself, it is a great thrill to find myself contributing to this. We have uploaded over 300 pictures, which will be appearing on the website in the next few weeks and I feel proud to have been a part of it.