New Digital Art Project Is Bringing More Than 150,000 British Sculptures Online

"Eve" by Auguste Rodin, 1882
"Eve" by Auguste Rodin, 1882
Volker Hartmann/AFP/Getty Images

There are thousands of public sculptures that can be found in parks, squares, and art museums throughout the UK. Soon, you won't have to visit in person to study these famous contemporary and historical works, though. Art lovers around the world will be able to view them all from their computers thanks to an ambitious new digitization project from Art UK.

The charity organization plans to digitize more than 150,000 publicly owned sculptures in Great Britain by the end of 2020, The Guardian reports. The project includes contemporary sculptures, like a statuette of the Scottish comic character Oor Wullie held by the Dundee Heritage Trust, as well as historical artworks dating back as far as the Medieval era. One of the most famous pieces being featured is Eve, a statue sculpted by the artist Auguste Rodin in 1882.

To complete such an impressive digital collection in just two years, Art UK has imposed a few limits on itself. The organization will only digitize sculptures made after 1000 CE, and decorative and "functional" art pieces don't qualify.

While many of the sculptures being digitized can be easily viewed in outdoor spaces and museum halls, others are usually hidden away in storage. The project aligns with Art UK's greater mission of making art more accessible to the public.

The first 1000 digital sculptures are now available to view at ArtUK.org. When the project is completed, the UK will officially be the first nation on earth with a catalog of all its public sculptures.

[h/t The Guardian]

Show Off Your Love of Art With a Frida Kahlo Action Figure

Frida Kahlo Action Figure
Frida Kahlo Action Figure
Today is Art Day

If you're in the market for an action figure based on a real person, you've got plenty to choose from: Everyone from Snoop Dogg to the Pope is getting their own figurine these days. Now, Frida Kahlo has joined the ranks of icons who have become immortalized in plastic.

In 2017, Canadian art website Today Is Art Day (known for its Vincent van Gogh action figure) started a Kickstarter to give Kahlo the action figure treatment. The toy features the artist with a monkey pal on her shoulder, as well as a detachable heart and the faint smell of roses. The packaging has fun facts about the artist, along with some miniature artwork that can be cut out and affixed to a miniature easel.

“Not that I don’t like the great books and reproductions of artworks but, I think it’s more engaging to have a Frida Kahlo action figure on your desk rather than an art history book on your shelf," ‘Today Is Art Day’ founder David Beaulieu told Lost at E Minor during the Kickstarter campaign.

The Frida action figure is available on Amazon for $30.

Frida Kahlo Action Figure

Frida Kahlo Action Figure

[h/t Lost at E Minor]

A version of this article first ran in 2017. It has been updated to reflect current availability.

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Rare Audio Clip of Frida Kahlo Discovered in Mexican Sound Library

Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Even if they're not experts in art, many people are familiar with Frida Kahlo's most famous paintings. The Mexican artist's style, quotes, and artwork are still iconic 65 years after her death, but few people know what she sounded like. As CNN reports, the National Sound Library of Mexico recently announced the discovery of what could be the only surviving recording of her voice.

The clip comes from the 1955 pilot of the radio show El Bachiller. The episode profiles Diego Rivera, a muralist and Kahlo's on-again-off-again husband. In one section, Kahlo can be heard reciting a text entitled "Portrait of Diego" that poetically describes the appearance and temperament of her spouse.

Kahlo had already died when the episode aired, and the radio show notes that the voice being broadcast belongs to a painter "who no longer exists." The original recording of her voice likely dates back to 1954 or 1953 (she died in July 1954).

In a press release, the director of the National Sound Library of Mexico Pável Granados said that audio of Frida Kahlo is one of the most common requests they receive. The authenticity of the tape has yet to be confirmed, and authorities are currently investigating to see if the voice in the recording really belonged to the artist.

Surviving audio of Kahlo may be rare, but the painter left behind many artworks and writings that paint a rich picture of her life. Here are some facts about the icon.

[h/t CNN]

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