Discover the Paintings You Own: The Public Catalogue Foundation and Your Paintings Project  – Mary-Rose Rivett-Carnac

The Public Catalogue Foundation was set up in 2003 to catalogue every oil painting in public ownership in the UK. This ambitious project involved visiting 3,000 collections across the country and photographing over 212,000 paintings. These paintings are reproduced in an acclaimed series of 85 hardback catalogues entitled Oil Paintings in Public Ownership. In 2010 the PCF joined forces with the BBC to create the Your Paintings website ( on which oil paintings in our national collection are now available to view online. 

 This lecture offers an insider’s view of the project and describes some unusual collections visited, intriguing paintings uncovered, detective work involved and assistance given by NADFAS members. The project continues as more collections are added, and the public is invited to help improve the painting data. Each lecture is tailored to reflect the locality of the venue.

Mary-Rose Rivett-Carnac

Gained a 1st class honours degree in History of Art and English Literature, and an MA in Victorian Studies from Royal Holloway, University of London. Has written several arts-related articles and in 2010 contributed a chapter on the Victorian artist F.D. Hardy to Wolverhampton Art Gallery’s exhibition catalogue. Is a volunteer guide at Dorich House Museum, studio-home of the Russian sculptor Dora Gordine, and at Turner’s House, Twickenham. Since 2007 has worked for the Public Catalogue Foundation on an acclaimed arts project that is the subject of her lectures