5 Europeana Art highlights from 2017

As the year draws to a close, we look back on the past twelve months and celebrate five significant moments for Europeana Art. In chronological order:

1. Art Nouveau season

L’Art Gothique by Louis Gonse (detail), 1900. Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg. CC0

2017 began with fireworks: a four-month season dedicated to Art Nouveau. Its centrepiece was the exhibition Art Nouveau – A Universal Style which surveyed Art Nouveau across Europe and showed masterpieces alongside fascinating lesser-known works. Featuring almost fifty artworks from more than twenty museums, the exhibition is available in six languages.

During the season we published a series of fascinating guest blogs written by our partners: museum curators, collections managers and Art Nouveau experts shared insights into the genre. We did a spot of writing too, publishing guest posts with our friends at DailyArt and highlighting works on their excellent app.

2. Art Up Your Tab

Flowers and bird, 1916. Watanabe Seitei. Rijksmuseum. Public Domain

We had a lot of fun this year with Art Up Your Tab, the nifty plug-in that shows a full-screen image from Europeana every time you open a browser tab. Never boring or predictable, Art Up Your Tab makes a lot of people’s days just a little bit more fun. Get the plug-in.

3. Magnificent München

Le Déjeuner, 1868. Édouard Manet. Neue Pinakothek München. CC BY-SA

A highlight of 2017 was Museums in the Digital Sphere: Opportunities and Challenges at the beautiful Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich. Tasked with analyzing the needs and desires of museum visitors in the 21st century, a sparkling array of speakers (including our very own Douglas) addressed topics such as digital collections, transparency and open access. Watch the whole event on the Pinakotheken site and, whilst you’re there, check out their snazzy collections website. 

4. The Mauritshuis arrives in style

The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Nicolaes Tulp (detail), 1632. Rembrandt van Rijn. Mauritshuis. Public Domain

Each time a new collection arrives in Europeana, we get a little excited. When it’s openly licensed and available in high-resolution, we get even more excited. So when we published the collections of the Maurithuis in Europeana, well – you can just imagine!

The Mauritshuis is of course famous for its amazing paintings by Dutch and Flemish masters from the Golden Age: Rembrandt, Vermeer and so on. The digitised images are available in very high-resolution and released under a Public Domain licence. Another victory for OpenGLAM – bravo!

5. Finnish friendship

Hanna-Leena (3rd from left) and the Europeana team

In late autumn, we had the pleasure of welcoming Hanna-Leena Paloposki to Europeana on a two-month professional residency. Hanna-Leena is the Chief Curator and Archive & Library Manager at the Finnish National Gallery in Helsinki. Hanna-Leena brought an in-depth knowledge of Finnish art and the Gallery’s collections to Europeana. Her extensive art historical research, exhibitions and publications experience was invaluable.

Hanna-Leena left us with a beautiful gift in the form of an exhibition. An Ecstasy of Beauty follows Finnish artists’ travels beyond Europe in the late 19th and early 20th century. Visitors look through artists’ eyes and the prism of this era, going on a journey to Africa, America and the Caucasus. Read Hanna-Leena’s reflections on her time at Europeana.

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