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Your Paintings Project Revealed

Your Paintings Project Revealed

13 December 2012

All 212,000 of the United Kingdom’s oil paintings are now online

The museum is really excited to be part of the impressive national project which is Your Paintings.

Today the Public Catalogue Foundation (PCF) and the BBC completed their hugely ambitious project to put online the United Kingdom’s entire collection of oil paintings in public ownership. This makes the UK the first country in the world to give such access to its national collection of paintings. In total, 3,217 venues across the UK have participated in the project and 211,861 paintings are now on the Your Paintings website at

The majority of the paintings from the museum’s collection which are part of the Your Paintings project are not on public display, so it’s a great opportunity to see items that have never been seen before!

People’s History Museum’s collection - Your Paintings

Your Paintings is a partnership between the PCF and the BBC. The PCF started making a photographic record of the UK’s oil paintings in 2003. The Your Paintings website, built by the BBC, was launched with 63,000 paintings in June 2011. The project covers paintings not only held by museums and galleries but also works in universities, local councils, hospitals and even paintings held in fire stations, zoos and a lighthouse. Typically 80% of these paintings are not on view whilst the vast majority have never been photographed. All oil paintings owned by the nation are shown irrespective of perceived quality and condition.

In February 2013, the BBC will lead a nationwide celebration of Your Paintings with many opportunities for the public to discover paintings that have rarely been on view. More information will be announced on twitter @your_paintings

To help the PCF and BBC identify and catalogue what can be seen in each painting, the public is being invited to ‘tag’ the nation’s paintings. Tagging is fun, easy and you don’t need to be an art expert to do it. The results will allow future users of the Your Paintings website to find paintings of subjects that interest them. Your Paintings Tagger can be reached through the Your Paintings website.

117,000 paintings are held across 2,197 collection venues in England outside London; 46,000 paintings (273 venues) in London; 30,500 paintings (441 venues) in Scotland; 12,500 paintings (195 venues) in Wales; 4,000 paintings (63 venues) in Northern Ireland; and 1,800 paintings (48 venues) in the Channel Islands.