Discoveries brought together paintings from across the country, some of which had never been seen in public before. It demonstrated the astonishing range and quality of our UK public collections, spanning over 500 years. It also illustrated the wide variety of work that has been done by the National Inventory Research Project.
The National Gallery has been part of this project since 2005. The project team went into regional museums to shed new light on European paintings from 1200 to 1900 - discovering a rich variety of stories, interpreting symbolism, giving attributions and enhancing understanding of these little-known pictures.
The exhibition coincided with the launch of the project’s online database [external link] of nearly 8,000 paintings in over 200 UK museums and galleries, providing public access to information discovered as a result of the National Inventory Research Project. This information has already resulted in many new collection displays and educational initiatives in the institutions which were involved.