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Europeana 280 – Art from the 28 countries of Europe

11 June 2015

Every EU country is asked to celebrate its contribution to European art history as part of a Europe-wide campaign to involve people with their shared art heritage, and to support the launch of the Europeana Art History channel.

Europe’s 28 Culture Ministries have been invited to work with their museums and galleries to choose at least 10 paintings that represent their country’s contribution to Europe’s art history. And the public across Europe will have their say on the 280 chosen pieces too, by voting for the works that they feel to be inspirational.

The campaign hopes to get people across Europe involved with art treasures from their own and other European countries, and is supported by the European Commission as part of the development of Europeana.

The nominated paintings will feature on the new Europeana Art History Channel, to be launched in early 2016. The 280 pieces of art will form a special collection in the channel, bringing together Europe’s most influential paintings. Selected paintings will also feature in a specially curated virtual exhibition in 2016.

Merete Sanderhoff, Curator of Digital Museum Practice at SMK, The National Gallery of Denmark, and member of the Europeana Members Council said:
“Working with digital art collections, I have always been driven by a vision where people can experience artworks side by side, even if the physical objects are located in disparate institutions and different countries. The Europeana Art History Channel helps realise this vision, offering up a unique perspective and access to Europe's artistic heritage to everyone online, no matter where they live or how far they can travel; the Europeana 280 campaign is a great way to start getting people involved with it.”

Each nominated piece should have contributed to a European art movement down the centuries - from Gothic to Renaissance, from Baroque to Impressionism, and from Cubism to Pop Art.
The Europeana Art History Channel will provide a unique perspective on European art, not only providing access to works from all of Europe, and throughout history but where the iconic sits side by side with lesser known but still important counterparts.

Jill Cousins, Europeana’s Executive Director said:
“Europe’s art history is rich and varied; we are all aware of Europe’s emblematic paintings but so many important and beautiful works are often not known outside of the countries that we live in. We want to give people across Europe the chance to discover those works alongside their more famous cousins, to explore their individual beauty as well as their wider significance. [For example Pyke Koch’s magisch realisme alongside Salvador Dali, or frescoes by Toma of Suceava from Moldavia alongside Da Vinci’s The Last Supper.] And to be able to do all of this online.”

Europeana.eu is Europe’s platform for digital cultural heritage. It brings together more than 40 million books, paintings, films, museum objects and archival records that have been digitised by cultural institutions throughout Europe.

The launch of Europeana channels will take this a step further, offering visitors a rich, curated journey through themed content, and with high quality digital images. And visitors will be able to explore different perspectives of a theme through the breadth of related content - for example an artist’s correspondence or others writing on an artist’s work could be items that can be explored alongside paintings. Europeana Art History channel will follow the launch of the Europeana Music Channel in late 2015.

Notes to editors

Europeana

Europeana is Europe's digital platform for cultural heritage, which collects and provides online access to tens of millions of digitised items from libraries, archives, audiovisual collections and museums across Europe. We are a network, representing more than 3000 cultural heritage organisations and a thousand individuals from these and other walks of life including the creative and technical sectors, passionate about bringing Europe's vast wealth of cultural heritage to the world. www.europeana.eu

For more information:
Eleanor Kenny, Head of Corporate Communications eleanor.kenny@europeana.eu
Imogen Greenhalgh, Editorial and Press Officer imogen.greenhalgh@europeana.eu