Supporting the digitisation of 100 artists’ archives
DACS Foundation has been awarded £250,000 from Arts Council England to lead Art360, the most ambitious public project for UK visual arts archive management to date.
The three year action research project will offer support to develop and future-proof the archives of 100 leading modern and contemporary British artists, offering participants expert and bespoke legacy consultancy.
Between 30 and 40 artists will be selected each year, comprising artists from the Modern British canon (1900 – 2000) and contemporary artists active between 2000 and 2014.
Education and knowledge sharing
The story of the project will be shared through the Art360 website and will include unique materials that are unearthed in the process such as selected documentation, drawings and images of their works of art, as well as filmed and recorded interviews and ephemera from the artists’ careers.
Art360 will be supported with a series of regional events and workshops to celebrate and promote the notion of 'soft cultural heritage' and legacy planning support for artists and estates across the UK.
The Art360 project is particularly resonant at this time, with a number of important shifts in recent years that have disrupted the traditional model for art collection and preservation. With the acceleration of cultural and artistic trends, technology platforms and the global acquisition of works by British artists, the issue of legacy planning for artists is not being systemically addressed and cultural assets are being depleted more swiftly than ever before.
Keir McGuinness, Chair of DACS Foundation, said: “This is a hugely significant investment which will contribute to re-mapping the history of British art for the benefit of present and future generations. This project will celebrate the UK’s cultural heritage, promote best practice for artists for their own archiving and legacy planning, and make accessible new cultural content to the British public.”
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Art360 is supported with public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.
Peter Heslip, Director, Visual Arts, Arts Council England, said: “Arts Council England is delighted to invest in this scheme which draws together expertise from The National Archives and the Art Fund and a range of archive collections around the country. This initiative addresses the "ticking time bomb" of important artists’ materials which are often fragile and poorly stored. The project will not only safeguard the materials but provide a new source of income for artists and their estates and create an important public legacy by making these works more accessible to the public.”
Godfrey Worsdale, Director of The Henry Moore Foundation said: “As an organisation very much concerned with the preservation and archiving of an artist's legacy, The Henry Moore Foundation is delighted to be able to support this enormously significant project with DACS Foundation and its partners. A key principle of the Foundation that Henry Moore established was that it should further public understanding of visual art and the Art360 initiative fulfils that ambition absolutely and in perpetuity.”