Wednesday, January 08, 2020

Archives of British Art and Funding Opportunities at the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art

On trips around various art websites, I sometimes find some real goldmines of art history. Such as happened today when I came across the Archive Collections associated with British Art on the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art website

[PS The next blog post about the Summer Exhibition will be tomorrow - it's taking rather longer than I expected]

It's a bit of heaven for those who like researching British Art! Thus we have just a few examples....

Art Prizes

  • Hunting Art Prize - material relating to the Hunting Art Prizes (HAP) which ran from 1981 to 2005. Spot a young looking Lord Gowrie and Daphne Todd below

Art Critics

  • William Packer - relates to William Packer's work as an art critic and includes his copy for published articles of art criticism, mainly prior to editorial intervention.
  • Brian Sewell (1931 - 2015) - 70 boxes - which he had organised himself (and I assume "edited")
    • articles pertaining to art and the arts (boxlist 1)
    • a smaller group of materials concerning his writings on any other subject matter (boxlist 2).
    • material covers every other aspect of Sewell’s life, from childhood to death (boxlist 3).
Brian Sewell (1931 – 2015) was a British art historian, author, critic, and media personality. After graduating from the Courtauld Institute of Art, he worked at Christie’s (1957-1967); as an independent dealer (1967-1980), and as a journalist, most notably for the Evening Standard (1984-2015).

Art Historians

  • Paul OppĂ© - 34 boxes of material that reflects his work as an art historian, critic, museum official and art collector
He also inaugurated the study of British drawings as a scholarly pursuit.
  • Benedict Nicholson - archive comprises seventeen personal diaries, six folders of correspondence and a small amount of reference and research material.
Lionel Benedict Nicolson (1914–1978) was a British art historian and author. He was the elder son of authors Harold Nicolson and Vita Sackville-West. He was Deputy Surveyor of the King’s Pictures (1939-1947), serving in British Army Intelligence for the duration of the Second World War. He was editor of the Burlington Magazine (1947-1978). 

  • Roy Strong - 34 boxes containing research papers relating to Strong's publications and other research
Sir Roy Colin Strong (b.1935) is art historian, museum director, writer and broadcaster and landscape designer. He was Assistant Keeper (1959-1967), then Director (1967-1973) of the National Portrait Gallery and Director of the Victoria & Albert Museum (1974-1987).


The Centre has a Funding Programme which supports scholarship, academic research and the dissemination of knowledge in the field of British art and architectural history from the medieval period to the present. Awards are made twice a year, in Spring and Autumn.
All supported topics must have a historical perspective and all applications must demonstrate that there is a substantial element of British art and/or architectural history to their project.
The next round of funding opportunities close on the 31 January 2020! 
In this round you can apply for:
  • Senior Fellowships
  • Mid Career Fellowships
  • Postdoctoral Fellowships
  • Junior Fellowships
  • Rome Fellowship
  • Terra-PMC Fellowship
  • Research Support Grants
  • Event Support Grants

Where to find The Paul Mellon Centre for British Art

The Paul Mellon Centre for British Art can be found:

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