Newly researched master paintings launched online

The Visual Arts Data Service (VADS) at the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) has released over 1300 newly researched records of old master paintings.

An Aside in the Theatre, Paul Barthel, York Art Gallery

The 1,306 paintings, which come from four of the UK’s most important regional collections, have been made freely available online as part of the National Inventory of Continental European Paintings (‘NICE Paintings’).

The release is the result of the ‘NIRP of the North’ project, the latest phase of the National Inventory Research Project, an initiative from the University of Glasgow’s College of Arts which aims to help hard-pressed regional museums research and publicise their collections of pre-1900 Continental European oil paintings.

The Guitar Player, Jacques van Schuppen, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool

As part of ‘NIRP in the North’, international researchers from the UK, Italy and Poland worked on collections in the National Museums Liverpool, Manchester Art Gallery, Leeds Museums and Galleries and York Art Gallery, assisted by funding from the Kress Foundation, the John Ellerman Foundation and the Pilgrim Trust.

As a result of the research, all 1,306 works have now been described in detail and reassessed, with many of the paintings being re-attributed and subjects newly identified. Updated and detailed information on collectors, provenance, exhibition and publication history is also now freely available.

VADS provides online access to a growing collection of visual images contributed by universities, libraries, museums and archives from across the UK, which are available freely for non-commercial educational use. It’s been hosted online for twenty years by the University for the Creative Arts (UCA), a specialist university with over 160 years of experience in supporting and developing creative arts students.

To view the newly researched works, please visit

West Yorkshire Textile Heritage collections launch on VADS

The West Yorkshire Textile Heritage project has joined up with the University of Creative Arts to make 2000 images available online via VADS, showing the best textile collections in West Yorkshire’s museums:

Page of samples for spring 1861 by Tolson Brothers of Dalton, Kirklees Museums

The region’s famous wool and worsted products are well represented, but the database also shows examples of silk, cotton and synthetic textiles, for suitings, carpets, blankets, dress fabrics and more.

The project is a partnership between Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield museums. A new website and textile trail have also been launched that bring together information about textile collections across West Yorkshire. Together they act as a gateway to textile resources in the region.

Noble comb, Bradford Museums

Kirklees curator, Katina Bill, said “The online database will be a superb resource for students and researchers, whilst the trail will help local people find out more about our amazing local heritage. We also hope to bring new ‘textile tourists’ to West Yorkshire, who perhaps didn’t realise just how much there is so to see and do here.”

The project was supported by the Museums Association (MA) with an Esmee Fairbairn Foundation grant. Sally Colvin from the MA said “We were delighted to support the West Yorkshire Heritage Textile project as the partnership approach from four museum services really stood out. Textile heritage is spread right across the region so it’s only right that the services should work together; the website and trail are great results from this approach.”


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