The Council's art collection is stored in a secure room in the building. After a report from Resources Scrutiny Committee, officers have been busy cataloguing the pieces of art we have, and their condition. Watsons, our local auctioneers have been brought in to provide more information about the pictures, and their value for insurance purposes. They've evidently done a fine job.
Over the next few months, the job of cataloguing will be completed, including the pictures at Central Hall and the Town Hall. We're also working on a policy that will ensure that some of the more valuable paintings, such as a Graham Sutherland oil and some important local scenes, get displayed more prominently. There are a number of pictures which are the town's 'Crown Jewels' which I want to see restored to their full glory.
I then hope to take a report back to the Scrutiny Committee for their consideration. I suspect at that point there will still be some questions where their input will be particularly helpful - for example, what to do with the significant number of pictures that the Council has been given over the years which Watsons politely described as "potboilers"? They are of little or no value, and have no local link whether by artist or subject.
One piece of good news is that the Council's oil paintings are to be recorded and will be included in the database of the Public Catalogue Foundation, and in time available for view on the internet. I'll blog on this further as more information becomes available.