The Watercolour World Project

The primary objective of The Watercolour World is to digitise and collate public and private watercolour collections of record and make them available, via The Watercolour World website, both in the UK and globally. The goal is to save the images for posterity before they degrade too far to rescue.

  • Funded by the Marandi Foundation
  • Joint patrons: HRH The Prince of Wales and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall
  • Founder: Fred Hohler 
  • Chairman: Sir Charles Saumarez Smith
  • Chief Executive Officer: Andra Fitzherbert

Key statistics for the project

  • More than 100,000 paintings feature on the website
  • The images document more than 31,000 geographical locations around the world.
  • PFU (EMEA) has provided six ScanSnap SV600 scanners that The Watercolour World’s digitisation teams are using to document images.
  • More than 7 per cent of the paintings documented have been scanned using the SV600.

The Watercolour World website

The images captured for the project are available for anyone to view for free online.

Users are able to search by many criteria including artist, date and location.

PFU (EMEA)’s involvement in The Watercolour World

TWW is a real-world case study showing how PFU (EMEA)’s world-leading technology enables the world’s flow of knowledge.

This epitomises the Sanpo-Yoshi principal of contributing to and enriching society, which is part of “The Fujitsu Way” – by providing art access for all.

Why is the project important?

Watercolours are historically important. Before 1900, they were the primary source of visual records.

The project will also enable a wide variety of interest groups to access the archive for free: artists, scientists, historians, schools & sociologists.

Watercolours are particularly prone to sunlight damage or degradation over time, meaning many must be carefully stored, hidden from public view.

The project is ideal for bringing an international resource to the public with particular value for future generations.