The London Art Fair

Following on from our many projects in 2017, January and February look set to continue the trend. Towards the end of 2017 and the start of this year I was preparing one of our paintings for a trip down to London where it would take part in the London Art Fair.

Art UK, a charitable organisation that started its mission in 2003, officially partnered with the London Art fair this year. The main aim of the organisation is to help get public artworks out in the world through digitisation and offering a range of resources and programming both on and offline. As a result, this project was designed to increase access to works that are not already on display. Out of a massive collection of 3,250 organisations, housing 200,000 artworks, the museum was selected to contribute one of its paintings to the London Art Fair, and Art UK's very first exhibition.

Artists working with Art UK's curator each selected a piece from the Art UK database and towards the end of 2017 the museum was approached by representatives who requested one of our oil paintings. It had been chosen by 'guest curator' and artist Oscar Murillo, along with three other pieces from collections across the country.

And with that preparations began to get the painting ready for transportation and display when the exhibition opened in 17th January. Once the painting had been located in the stores it was time to check it over and clean it, so it would be shown in the best possible way. While the painting was out of the store I also took the opportunity to add to the documentation – photographing, measuring, labelling and recording the condition of the item before it went out on loan.

Although the painting was only going out of the museum in the short term (with the exhibition finishing on the 21st January) we still had to do some paperwork, which we use to monitor the movement of any objects that enter and exit the museum. We also had some research to do too! The museum had very little information about the painting and artist prior to this exhibition, but we now have a lot more information about Pittaway – who produced a number of drawings for Land Rover catalogues in 1974. I even found a few of them with the help of our Archive staff!

With all that work to do before the painting was collected in early January, it was lucky for me that I had a helping hand from our work experience placement, Kieron, who has been involved in a few projects with the Museum (including our 50 Motoring Treasures exhibition).

And with that, our painting was off on its adventures to London. Stephen and I were able to go down and see the exhibition on the 16th January just before it opened.

  • Visit England Gold Accolade