York Museums Trust ceramics collections becomes part of Google Art Project

York Press: Mike Linstead with some of the items from the Google Art Project on display from the collections of the York Museums Trust Mike Linstead with some of the items from the Google Art Project on display from the collections of the York Museums Trust

YORK Museums Trust has joined a elite group of institutions across the world and launched its collections into cyber-space.

A new exhibition of British ceramics created by York Art Gallery can now be seen by a global audience thanks to a partnership with Google.

The collection has become part of Google’s Art Project which puts artworks and museum pieces from across the world – including prestigious institutions like the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Musee d’Orsay, and the British Museum – online for free.

Mike Linstead, the trust’s e-communications co-ordinator said: “Partnering with the Google Art Project is an incredibly exciting step forward. We feel it is important to make the many wonderful and historic works in our collections as accessible as possible.”

The collection came from W.A Ismay, of Wakefield, a librarian who through his interest in ceramics became the UK’s most prolific collector of post-war British studio ceramics. Ismay filled every spare space of his small terraced home with his collection, and on his death in 2001 bequeathed the collection to the York Museums Trust to keep it in Yorkshire.

Now people around the world can see his star items in high definition as images of 52 pieces, along with videos and detailed information, have been uploaded and are available at google.com/culturalinstitute.

Helen Walsh, assistant curator of decorative arts, said: “York Art Gallery has one of the best collections of British Studio Ceramics in the country and part of this is because of the strength of the W.A Ismay Collection. The Google Art Project has given us a fantastic platform to promote these works and Ismay to a new audience around the world.”

The online exhibition complements one at The Hepworth, Wakefield, which has seen artist Matthew Darbyshire recreate Ismay’s terrace house crowded with pots.

The Trust has signed up to an ongoing partnership with Google, meaning they hope to put more of their exhibitions from Art Gallery, the Yorkshire Museum and York Castle Museum, online using the Google Art Project platform.

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