1 July 2016 by Felicity
Do you have an eye for detail? Could you spot something amiss in a masterpiece? We’re working with Sky Arts on an exciting new television series. Throughout July, people of all ages and experience are invited to use their detective skills to spot seven copies hiding in plain sight on the walls of six galleries across the UK, including the Lady Lever Art Gallery and the Walker Art Gallery. All seven displays will also be available for investigation online as part of a national competition: skyartsfake.com
Each programme in the series will shine a light on a particular period of British Art, featuring interviews with specialist curators from each gallery and the contemporary artists who have been commissioned to secretly recreate the masterpieces from scratch.
At the Walker Art Gallery, the copy will be hidden among paintings of ‘Animal and Sporting Art’ from the 18th and 19th centuries, located in room 9. At the Lady Lever Art Gallery, visitors can find the copy amid a collection of ‘Golden Age English Portraiture’ by the likes of Sir Joshua Reynolds, Thomas Gainsborough and George Romney, located in the South End of the Gallery.
Fake! The Great Masterpiece Challenge will be recorded throughout July and August and screened on Sky Arts in the new year, when the identity of the seven ‘fakes’ and the artists who have been commissioned to copy them will be revealed. Only the museum curators, the production team and presenters Giles Coren and art historian Rose Balston, know which pictures are real and which have been replaced!
The final of the television series will be hosted at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, where the competition will reach its climax. The finalists will compete to win a specially commissioned copy of their very own. The seven originals paintings will return to the galleries once the competition has ended in August.
Other galleries and collections featured in the series include Guildhall Art Gallery, London (Collection: ‘Victorian Narrative Painting’), Manchester Art Gallery (Collections: ‘The Pre-Raphaelites’ / ‘Lowry and Valette’), National Museum Cardiff (Collection:’ British Landscape’) and Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh (Collection: ‘Art of the Stuart Courts’).
Charlotte Keenan, Curator of British Art at National Museums Liverpool, said: “We’re thrilled to have been selected to take part in Fake! The Great Masterpiece Challenge. The collections housed at both the Lady Lever and the Walker Art Gallery are among the finest in the world and this exciting competition provides a fantastic incentive for visitors of all ages to take a much closer look at the paintings on display.
“In exploring the works with a critical eye, visitors can expect to discover more about the fascinating lives of the artists who painted them, the significance of the subject matter being portrayed and the remarkable techniques employed by the artists, which earned them their celebrated places in the history of British Art.”
To take part in the competition, visit: skyartsfake.com
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