Tower Museum joins Art UK to share archive treasures
26 November 2020
With the doors of museums and galleries firmly closed at the moment, it's been a very difficult time for cultural venues reliant on regular visitor numbers to keep facilities running.
Derry's Tower Museum has been exploring a range of new ways to keep interest in local history alive while restrictions remain in place, offering everything from online talks to digital platforms for collections. This month the museum has now joined forces with Art UK, to bring collection pieces right into people's own homes, by offering a range of merchandise capturing some of the wonderful items in its stores.
Art UK is a cultural education charity and its mission is to make art available to everyone to promote enjoyment, learning and research. It has become the online home for public art collections and its website represents a collaboration between over 3,300, museum, art and cultural venues. The site will now showcase the Tower museum's art and sculpture collections, just in time for Christmas, as curator at the Museum Roisin Doherty explained.
"At the moment the oil paintings collection and sculpture collection are available to view on the website and we hope to add to those in the near future," she revealed.
"The partnership with Art UK is an opportunity to reach new audiences by telling the stories behind the art and collaborating with more collections to raise their online profile. Essentially the partnership can help make the sector more sustainable by generating vital revenue for public collections at an incredibly challenging time for museums and galleries.
"It allows licensing of images from the collection for print and publication, media and television, or even just a beautiful print for your home. We now hope to work with their designers and makers and establish further merchandise lines. We hope it will generate some interest in the run up to Christmas with some alternative gift ideas for anyone who loves local history."
The partnership also includes Art Detective which aims to improve knowledge of the public art collections. It's an award-winning, free-to-use online network that connects public art collections with members of the public and other providers of specialist knowledge. Hundreds of exciting discoveries have been made and the Tower team were able to clarify sculptor names and dates using this network.
The partnership coincides with the global Museum Shop Sunday campaign which takes place on 29th November, encouraging people to find out more about some of the beautiful pieces of merchandise available celebrating and promoting local heritage.