The U.K. is digitizing its 150,000 publicly owned sculptures.
Auguste Rodin, Eve, 1882, in London. Photo by Steve Cadman, via Flickr.
All of the U.K.’s 150,000 publically owned sculptures are the in the process of being documented, catalogued, and placed online, thanks to the nonprofit organization ART UK, which hopes to complete the feat by the end of 2020. An estimated 130,000 of the sculptures are displayed outdoors, while 20,000 reside inside museums and other buildings. This will make the U.K. the first country in the world to have a registry of all of its public sculptures, the majority of which have not previously been properly photographed. Between 2003 and 2012, Art UK also photographed and digitized 212,000 of the country’s publicly owned oil paintings.
As of last week, more than 1,000 sculptures are online. Included in this inaugural batch is Auguste Rodin’s famous sculpture of the biblical Eve, originally a model for his Gates of Hell (1917). Sculptures soon to be included in this undertaking hail from all over the world, and highlights include a 15th-century Benin bronze head, works by Barbara Hepworth, and Yinka Shonibare, among many, many others. The public sculptures digitized thus far can be explored here.