Issue 18 : Autumn 2004
An image from the Conway Library now available to buy on www.artandarchitecture.org.uk Over 42,000 images from the Courtaulds Gallery and Conway collections are now available for the public to buy online as high quality photographic prints. An extension of Art & Architecture, our lottery-funded project to digitise, catalogue and publish our collections online, the service establishes the Courtauld as one of the largest retailers of visual material for study as much as for decoration; offering a greater diversity of images than any comparable museum or gallery.
Launched in September 2004 in partnership with PhotoBox, the UKs leading online print service, we offer reproductions in a range of sizes from postcard to poster, with prices from £1 to £20. Payment is made by credit card and delivery is worldwide. The level of service delivered by PhotoBox is astonishing; orders placed by mid-afternoon for delivery in the UK normally arriving the next day. Revenue from sales will be returned to the collections represented on A&A and will assist the Courtaulds commitment to maintain the website. Full instructions are published on the homepage: www.artandarchitecture.org.uk.
Since its launch last year A&A has quickly established itself as a resource of the highest quality for lifelong learners in both school and family environments; sparking or rekindling interests in art history and raising public awareness of the Courtaulds collections. Our regular story features, a requirement of our funding body to demonstrate that we are, quite rightly, far more than just a picture library, owe much to the enthusiasm of our students for whom writing for A&A is a welcome source of income and exposure to employers, as to the public figures offering new interpretations and insights into what, for many of us, is familiar material. The diversity of comment and interest is simply a reflection of the visual riches on offer to all: Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen on paintings as wallpaper, Wayne and Gerardine Hemingway on affordable housing, Laura Thatcher, stage manager at ENO, on set designs, Jack Vettriano on Jean Louis-Forain, meteorologist Ian James on Constables cloud sketches and Manolo Blahnik on Gainsboroughs shoes to name but a few.
This month we say farewell to Giles OBrien who directed A&A and, in doing so, raised the curtain on a future of information shared across Courtauld collections by scholars and public alike. Reflecting on the last five years I trust that the vision and good faith of those who supported A&As inception, and the commitment of everyone who worked so hard to deliver it has been borne out. In June 2004 the Good Web Guide described A&A thus: "it is beautifully designed and the level of information that it offers is breathtaking. The site aims to become the nations principal digital learning resource for the visual arts and it looks to be there already."
Head of Digital Media and Editor