A new website is digitising millions of watercolours – to make instantly available a wealth of vital historic imagery that could assist everything from climate research to school teachers[.]
The [Watercolour World] website, which has launched with about 80,000 works, focuses on pre-1900 documentary paintings: archival information gathering often duly kept in binders and boxes ever since. Some of the artists on the site were professional painters. Others were military draughtsmen, official expedition watercolourists, botanists, surveyors, as well as the untold numbers of amateurs – which [Fred Hohler, originator of the project] suspects will turn out to have mostly been women, unpaid for their time and skill – who picked up a paintbrush to record the world around them.
(Dale Berning Sawa, “Our lost world in watercolours – the paintings that documented Earth,” The Guardian, 2-14-19)
(c) 2019 JMN.