Hidden Huntingdonshire artworks uncovered as part of Your Paintings project

Hidden Art at the Norris Museum, St Ives, Museum Assistant Jools Heyes

Hidden Art at the Norris Museum, St Ives, Museum Assistant Jools Heyes - Credit: Archant

ARTWORKS hidden in Huntingdonshire’s storerooms have been uncovered as part of a project to archive the UK’s national collection of 210,000 valuable paintings on line.

Huntingdon Town Hall Open Day, Admin Assistant Natasha Pierson

Huntingdon Town Hall Open Day, Admin Assistant Natasha Pierson - Credit: Archant

For many years, publicly-owned works of art of historic figures including Oliver Cromwell and sights such as the Old Draining Mill in St Ives from 1855 have been kept in a variety of unexpected locations.

Hidden Art at the Norris Museum, St Ives, Museum Curator Helen Giles

Hidden Art at the Norris Museum, St Ives, Museum Curator Helen Giles - Credit: Archant

The Public Catalogue Foundation (PCF) worked with the BBC to find the hidden gems in council offices, schools, hospitals and community buildings and put them on the web for all to see – with some surprising results.

Hidden Art at the Norris Museum, St Ives

Hidden Art at the Norris Museum, St Ives - Credit: Archant

At the Norris Museum, in St Ives, for example, there are nine paintings by the artist William Watt Milne depicting picturesque scenes from St Ives and the surrounding area from years gone by, such as a man ploughing with two horses and one of Hemingford Grey watermill.

Hidden Art at the Norris Museum, St Ives,

Hidden Art at the Norris Museum, St Ives, - Credit: Archant

There is also a view of St Ives from the west, painted by George Bunting in 1888, and another of a “wise old owl”, painted in the 1920s and currently on display in the museum.

Hidden Art at the Norris Museum, St Ives

Hidden Art at the Norris Museum, St Ives - Credit: Archant


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Helen Giles, curator at the Norris Museum, said the project had helped show people across the world what the museum had got in its collection.

“From our point view, people can see exactly what we’ve got because the images the PCF has taken are of such good quality compared to what we could have done,” she said.

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The PCF sent its own photographers to take high-resolution pictures of the paintings, which the Norris Museum and others did not have the technology to do.

She added: “St Ives has been a bit of a haven for artists over the past couple of centuries because it has been a very attractive place to paint.”

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