Paintings on show

Oil paintings from Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery and Doncaster’s Mansion House are now available for anyone, anywhere to view at any time.

The paintings, many of which are not able to be displayed in the Museum and Art Gallery or Mansion House, are now part of a huge national project, Your Paintings. Each painting has been photographed and is now available to view online at www.bbc.co.uk/yourpaintings

Highlights from Doncaster include a painting of St George’s Church by an unknown artist. The picture, in oil on canvas, must have been painted just after the new church was completed, in the late 1850s and shows the church situated in the graveyard and with new trees planted to landscape the site.

It is the largest and most detailed oil painting that Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery has of the church, but because of its fragile condition it can not be displayed. There is a large tear right across the top of the painting which has been repaired rather badly, and the whole canvas is covered in a network of cracks (caused by ageing). Currently the money isn’t available to conserve the canvas.

Another picture that would not be seen unless it was part of this project is a large painting of Charles John Vaughan, who was one time vicar of St George’s Church. This picture used to hang in the Ballroom at the Mansion House, but since being returned to the Museum has hung in the picture store because it is too big and too heavy to go on the walls!

Mayor of Doncaster, Peter Davies, said: “What a great opportunity for people all over the world to view Doncaster’s heritage, including a painting of the last person to live in Doncaster’s Mansion House, Alderman George Tuby, and many paintings of race horses including St Leger winners.”

There are 267 oil paintings from Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery now available and 24 from the Mansion House.

The first phase of the national Your Paintings collection contains over 60,000 paintings, by 15,000 artists from 860 collections. New works and more functionality will be added to the website as the project develops. In total, the national collection amounts to 200,000 works, held in 3,000 locations all over the country. The project to photograph all of them and make them available online is due to be completed by the end of 2012.