LONDON, November 27, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
The Public Catalogue Foundation (PCF) has received initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the Your Sculpture: Connecting UK Communities with their Sculpture Heritage project. £2.84m has been earmarked for this project by HLF subject to the PCF successfully developing the project plans with the assistance of an upfront development grant.
Your Sculpture will follow the success of the PCF's Your Paintings project, operated in partnership with the BBC. Your Sculpture will improve public access to the UK's rich and diverse national sculpture collection, whilst providing many opportunities for learning, participation and engagement.
American artist Ad Reinhardt (1913-1967) once said, 'Sculpture is what you bump into when you back up to look at a painting'. This project will give sculpture the recognition it deserves and open it up for greater public enjoyment.
Arguably the finest anywhere, the UK's public sculpture collection hails from across the world, providing insights into multiple cultures. However, a significant proportion is hidden away and lacks images and online access. Meanwhile, many public monuments are not fully recorded and are at risk.
Your Sculpture will create a comprehensive photographic online catalogue of the UK's publicly owned sculptures of the last thousand years, held within museums and public buildings and (through partnership with the Public Monuments and Sculpture Association) seen in our outside spaces. The online resource will be free to access. Initial estimates suggest around 85,000 objects from collections and 15,000 outdoor sculptures will appear online. It is envisaged that the project will start in 2016 and take four years to complete.
Your Sculpture will form part of a wider national website encompassing the existing oil painting records, provisionally called Your Art, built by the PCF in collaboration with the BBC and 3,000 art collections across the UK. The current Your Paintings site attracts c.300,000 users per month.
A wide variety of digital and physical engagement opportunities will be offered to audiences during the Your Sculpture project and beyond. The public will be encouraged to share knowledge, exchange opinions, participate in events and go to see the real objects. Opportunities for training and volunteering will support skills development.
Many schools across the UK will have the opportunity to see great sculptures at first hand through 'Masterpieces in Schools: Sculpture'. This outreach programme will follow on from the PCF's successful Masterpieces in Schools programme in 2013, when oil paintings by the likes of Gainsborough, Monet and Turner were lent to primary and secondary schools for the day.
There will also be a number of activities to support the museum and heritage sector. The digitisation project will be of considerable value to collections in creating a high-quality online illustrated record of their sculpture holdings. Other benefits will include free high-resolution photographs, access to copyright information, an increase in trained handling support and access to the PCF's Art Detective network. Importantly, the project will record the condition of sculptures and monuments at risk.
The PCF will deliver Your Sculpture in partnership with four organisations: the BBC, the Public Monuments and Sculpture Association (PMSA), the Visual Geometry Group (VGG) at the Department of Engineering Sciences at the University of Oxford and Culture Street. The VGG will help with the development of image recognition software for a 'shoot and tell' mobile App of all sculptures across the UK. Culture Street will partner the PCF in the production of 50 short films about sculpture, made with young people.
Development funding of £109,700 has been awarded by HLF to the PCF. Together with £5,000 from the PMSA and £7,925 from the Henry Moore Foundation, this award will help the PCF progress its plans to apply for the full grant (HLF having earmarked £2.84m) towards the end of 2015. During the development period, starting in January 2015, the PCF will also raise matched funding commitments from a variety of funders. A Steering Panel of sculpture experts chaired by Professor David Ekserdjian will guide the project, whilst a Community Committee made up of members of the public will provide feedback and guidance on engagement activities.
Overall, Your Sculpture will result in large and diverse audiences discovering and enjoying the extraordinary sculptural heritage that belongs to the people of the United Kingdom.
Public Catalogue Foundation
Heritage Lottery Fund
SOURCE Public Catalogue Foundation (PCF)