Art Fund supports major new digital archive initiative

Art360 will help to digitise the works of 100 leading modern and contemporary British artists.

We are thrilled to support the DACS Foundation's Art360, one of the most ambitious archiving projects for UK visual arts to date. The national pilot scheme will help the digitisation of works by some of the top British artists and offer advice on how to safeguard Britain’s visual culture.

Our artistic heritage has been preserved using different materials through the ages; from stone to silk, and more recently, the computer screen. There is an increasing amount of work that exists in new forms, on different platforms and across countries. These shifts have disrupted the traditional modes of art collection and preservation. The issue of legacy planning for artists has not been systematically addressed and this has led to cultural assets being depleted more swiftly than ever before.

Art360 will tackle these issues with a three-year programme. Each year, 30 to 40 artists from the Modern British canon (1900 to 2000) and contemporary artists (active between 2000 and 2014) will be invited to explore how cultural heritage in the visual arts can be safeguarded for future generations. Artists will be offered expert advice and technical support for developing sustainable systems to manage their legacies for the future.

The project will pool together the expertise of key cultural institutions: Arts Council England, DACS Foundation, The National Archives, The Henry Moore Foundation and the Art Fund.

Stephen Deuchar, director of the Art Fund, said: ‘We are excited to be collaborating with the DACS Foundation on Art360. Safeguarding artists’ legacies in perpetuity is an important and timely concern, and we are pleased to be involved in a project which is addressing these complex issues with subtlety and determination. Art360 promises to provide a fascinating and important resource for engaging with the work of contemporary artists in Britain.’

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