Pre-Raphaelite masterpiece a hit

By on 08/09/2009 in News

A website showcasing Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery's world famous Pre-Raphaelite collection is proving to be a huge global hit - thanks partly to BBC costume drama Desperate Romantics.

Launched at the end of June, www.preraphaelites.org has been shortlisted for two DADI (Drum Awards for the Digital Industries) accolades and has already attracted almost 40,000 visitors.

And the critically acclaimed site (see reviews below) is now attracting visitors from over 150 countries, including the USA, India, China, Australia, Brazil and Japan.

Cllr Martin Mullaney, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport & Culture said: “This fantastic website uses the latest digital technology to bring Birmingham's world class collection of Pre-Raphaelite art to a worldwide audience.

“While 39 per cent of visitors are from the UK, 21 per cent come from the United States and the website has attracted art lovers from all over the world.

“We have a collection to be proud of here in Birmingham and the website was launched at just the right time - with the BBC drama Desperate Romantics resulting in more interest in the Pre-Raphaelites and their work.

“I’d encourage everyone to visit the site but also to come to Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery to see these great works of art in the flesh.”

Birmingham now boasts the largest online collection of Pre-Raphaelite art in the world and over 2,000 fine and decorative artworks with never before seen clarity are available through Silverlight, a plug-in that offers the Pre-Raphaelite website and its users an amazing Deep Zoom functionality.

This means a viewer's study of any artwork is perfection onscreen, even on some seeing frays in the canvas, pencil etchings or brushstrokes. The plug-in will give users a never before available opportunity to analyse Pre-Raphaelite work.

Led by the Birmingham City Council, the project was funded with help from the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) to help research, provide photographic equipment and develop the website. The depth of the collection is remarkable and Pre-Raphaelite fans now have no better site to visit than the Pre-Raphaelite Online Resource.

ENDS

Notes to editors

www.preraphaelites.org has been shortlisted for two DADI Awards
Best Public Sector Website
Best Use of Technical Innovation
See
http://www.dadiawards.com/categories/ for more details.

Example of reviews:

The Morris Society blog (William Morris Society blog) http://morrissociety.blogspot.com/2009/08/it-is-almost-inconceivable-that-one.html

Beautiful Necessity Blog (devoted to all things Pre-Raphaelite) http://thebeautifulnecessity.blogspot.com/2009/07/pre-raphaelitesorg.html

Birmingham Post http://bit.ly/15ZO4o

Visitor figures doubled on days when Desperate Romantics episodes were screened and six per cent of all traffic has come from a link on the BBC website.

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