Have a look at other sculpture digital projects:
the National Art Database (US),
Your Sculpture (UK),
Mapping Sculpture (UK),
Gothic Ivories at The Courtauld Institute of Art, London (UK),
e-Monumen (France),
La Fayette (France),
SOS! Save Outdoor Sculpture! (US).

National Art Database (2 February 2015)

Smithsonian American Art Museum launches effort to create national art database

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Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C. (ph. Wikimedia Commons/Slowking 4)

The Peggy McGlone, The Washington Post, Style Blog, 2 February 2015:

Smithsonian American Art Museum is leading a group of 14 institutions from around the country in an effort to build a shared, and searchable, online database that could spur research and scholarship about American art.

One of the first in the nation to make its entire collection available through Linked Open Data (or LOD), SAAM received a grant from the Andrew M. Mellon Foundation to create the American Art Collective to expand the project to other museums.

Art museums share a commitment to helping audiences of all ages experience, learn about, appreciate and enjoy art – thus our missions also include promoting access to our collections and research,” SAAM director Elizabeth Broun said in a statement.

The 14 partners will meet Wednesday and Thursday at SAAM to begin the process of building the database. While the American Art Museum has already converted its data to LOD, many of its partners are just beginning. No deadline has been established, and how the data will be accessed is still being determined, said Eleanor Fink, the collective's manager.

The National Portrait Gallery and the Archives of American Art, both part of the Smithsonian Institution, are part of the initiative, as are three university-based museums: the Princeton University Art Museum, the Yale Center for British Art and the Colby College Museum of Art in Waterville, Maine.

The other partners in the American Art Collective are the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth, Tex., the Autry National Center in Los Angeles, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Crystal Bridges, Ark., the Dallas Museum of Art, the Thomas Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Okla., the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole, Wyo., and the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore.

Your Sculpture (27 November 2014)

Your Sculpture project wins Heritage Lottery Fund support


Heritage Lottery Fund website, London, 27 November 2014

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.

£2.84million 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 (the 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.

Further information
Public Catalogue Foundation: Laura Marriott on 020 7395 0330 or email: [email protected].
(See rest of article: Quotes, Notes to editors: About the Public Catalogue Foundation, About the Public Monuments and Sculpture Association).


We may remind you also of existing projects such as:

Mapping Sculpture (2011)

Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland 1851-1951

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Project started 2005, website launched February 2011
Project initiator: Ann Compton, Institute of Art History, Glasgow University
The project is a partnership between Glasgow University, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Henry Moore Institute.

It is the first authoritative study of sculptors, related businesses and trades investigated in the context of creative collaborations, art infrastructures, professional networks and cultural geographies. This database is the main outcome of the research and contains over 50,000 records about sculptural practice. The information has been entered so that the numerous connections between different areas of practice can be explored. To read more about the research programme click here or to view some sample searches click here

Gothic Ivories at The Courtauld Institute of Art, London (2010)

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Project launched in 2008 at the Courtauld Institute of Art, website launched 15 December 2010
Project director: Prof. John Lowden; Project Manager: Dr Catherine Yvard

It consists of an online database of ivory sculptures made in Western Europe ca. 1200-ca. 1530, as well as neo-Gothic pieces.

Taking as a starting point the photographic resources of the Conway Library at the Courtauld Institute of Art, which represents over 1,500 ivory objects in private and public collections, the Gothic Ivories Project is a database which aims at including all readily available information on every surviving Gothic and neo-Gothic ivory, accompanied by at least one image.

This online resource allows wide-ranging searches on iconography, provenance, origin, post-medieval repairs and replacements, modern forgeries, and many other aspects. Ultimately, it will be possible to view in one place images and detailed information on over 5,000 items scattered in collections around the world.The focus of the Project is on objects made in Europe dating from c. 1200-c. 1530 (excluding Embriachi work), and modern imitations.

Please note that the mission of the Gothic Ivories Project is to compile published information and scholarly opinion on the objects, not to emit a judgement on them.


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Project initiator: Elisabeth Robert-Dehault, president of ASPM-Association pour la sauvegarde et la promotion du patrimoine métallurgique haut-marnais, vice-présidente du RIFA-Réseau international de la Fonte d'artBase de données géolocalisée du patrimoine monumental français et étranger

e-Monumen recense les monuments publics et le décor urbain créés au XIXe siècle principalement, utilisant le métal : bronze, fonte, plomb...

La Fayette (2006)

La Fayette: Database of American Art : works by United States artists from the French national collections, 1620-1940

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Project started 2003, website launched 2006
Project initiator: Olivier Meslay, then Curator of American painting at the Painting Department, Musée du Louvre, Paris

This bilingual online catalogue presents more than 1,700 works produced by United States artists before 1940 that entered the national collections of France. It includes works of art in all media except prints and photography. These artworks have been drawn from public collections all over France. The title, artist, medium, dimensions, inventory number, history, bibliography, and exhibition history of each piece have been documented. All artworks have been reproduced online when this was feasible under current copyright regulations. All records include photos of the museum or institution where artworks are conserved, as well as links to these institutions' websites. The catalogue also presents a range of supplementary materials including a French bibliography, a selection of significant works, a timeline, and a range of biographical and historical information.

Trying to understand art in terms of national schools inevitably poses problems of definition. Who counts as an American? In a period characterized by increasing transatlantic mobility, the answer to this question has been complicated. When possible, the creators of this base have tried to err on the side of inclusion, the better to reflect the historically fluid definition of native” American status. The database includes artists who were born in the United States and artists who were born abroad to American parents, as well as immigrant artists who resided in the United States for significant amounts of time prior to 1940 or who became naturalized citizens before that date. Translations into English are by Gabrielle Gopinath; translations into French are by Marie-Alice Seydoux. When possible, names of people and places have been rendered in their language of origin.

The La Fayette database has been created to promote public awareness of a group of artworks that have never before been examined closely in a national context. More generally, it has been designed to promote an appreciation of pre-1945 American art and to foster popular awareness of the richness and diversity of France's cultural heritage. Itself the result of a successful international cooperation, the site is intended to make the history of Franco-American artistic rapports better known to the American public, while reminding French audiences of the diversity of their national patrimony.

SOS! Save Outdoor Sculpture!

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Project started in 1989, records accessible on SIRIS website

Since 1989... The Save Outdoor Sculpture! (SOS!) program has served as a resource for identifying, documenting, and conserving outdoor sculpture nationwide.

SOS! has advocated for the proper care of this often neglected resource and provided the public with the tools necessary to spark local action, increase appreciation for sculpture, and improve the care of sculpture in both the short and long term. It encourages a multifaceted approach to preservation: conservation treatment, public awareness, education, and long-term maintenance.

Learn more about SOS! initiatives like our Girl Scout Patch Program and the Inventories of American Painting and Sculpture database at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Find resources on caring for outdoor sculpture including assessment forms and funding sources.

See also:

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