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2 minutes to read Posted on Thursday April 21, 2016

Updated on Monday November 6, 2023

Get set, #Europeana280 – join us as we celebrate Europe’s art history the digital way

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Today, we’re kickstarting Europeana 280, our cross-border campaign to get Europe excited about its shared art heritage and celebrate Europeana Art History Collections - and we want you to join us as we promote it across the continent.

The campaign, which we’ve been building up to with a weekly blog here on Pro, invited all 28 EU Member States to identify 10 works held in their national collections that have helped define Europe’s art history. All 28, and Norway, said yes, resulting in a collection of over 300 works of art that tell the story of Europe’s art down the centuries.

A screenshot from our new virtual exhibition, Faces of Europe

We’re launching our unfolding virtual exhibition, Faces of Europe, bringing together magnificent artworks from all 29 countries taking part in the campaign. The introductory part unveiled today gives a glimpse of the exciting journey ahead. Caravaggio, Goya, Velázquez, Munch and Manet… There are lots of famous names from European art. But what about Leis Malle or Hanna Pauli? True to the spirit of Europeana 280, household names from art history sit side by side with their fascinating but less widely known counterparts. Every fortnight from today until July, we’ll unveil a new chapter, and touch on themes like revolution, the inspiration of nature and ideas of truth and beauty.

Explore the exhibition

To get people interacting with the artworks contributed in fun and innovative ways, we’ll also be starting a series of public events in cities across Europe with the #BigArtRide - a ground-breaking mix of virtual reality, great art and... cycling! People across Europe will have a chance to take a virtual journey through a futuristic city using an Oculus Rift headset, experiencing centuries of Europe’s art along the way.

A preview of the virtual reality journey, the #BigArtRide

After kicking off in the Hague, the event will take place in Amsterdam throughout the 12 weeks, and tour through ten different European cities:

Later in the summer, in museums and galleries in other cities across Europe, digital installations – Jumping Jacks - combining art with interactive technology and moving, dynamic human bodies will let participants project their own body transformed by cut-outs from the Europeana 280 artworks onto walls and ceilings, - creating their own unique, moving artworks. We are still looking for hosting institutions in some cities, so please email Marijke Everts if your institution might like to get involved.

Join us!

We’d love you to help us promote these events in your region and via social media, and - even better! - come along too if you can! We’ve prepared an area on Pro with communications resources for the campaign, and the different elements it brings together.

The ‘Europeana 280’ collection can further be explored and enjoyed online via Europeana Collections, through apps DailyArt and ArtStack and the new Europeana colouring app based on works in the collection CREATE, as well as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest using #Europeana280.

155 of the pieces of art chosen by Europe’s museums, libraries and galleries to share through Europeana 280 have been made available under open licences that allow re-use, whether that’s for enjoyment, or for use in research, education or new designs, apps or services.