The Ballroom at Knole, Sevenoaks, Kent. © National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

Blog Category

A New Portrait for Bath: Thomas Lawrence’s sketch for Arthur Atherley by Amina Wright, Holburne Museum

Early in 2016, following a successful fundraising campaign, the Holburne Museum in Bath purchased Thomas Lawrence’s preparatory oil sketch for one of his most celebrated paintings, Arthur Atherley (left). This is the first oil painting by the great Royal Academician to enter the Holburne’s important collection of British eighteenth-century portraits. Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830) lived […]

Read More

A newly-discovered portrait of Joseph Leftwich by ‘Whitechapel Girl’ Clare Winsten, c.1919, by Sarah MacDougall, Ben Uri Gallery & Museum

My co-curator, Rachel Dickson, and I were delighted when, in the summer of 2015, just as we were preparing to celebrate Ben Uri’s centenary with a major collection exhibition, Out of Chaos, at Somerset House, this early oil by Clare Winsten (1892–1984) came to light. A portrait of one European Jewish émigré to London by […]

Read More

‘…and amongst moneyed men he was looked up to as an oracle’.* Mr Coutts’s Chinese Wallpapers and the Art of Diplomacy, by Dr Laura Popoviciu

Standing outside Sir Frederick Gibberd’s modern atrium of Coutts & Co., gracefully incorporated into the Georgian building on the Strand and waiting to explore their portrait collection as part of a study day organised by the Understanding British Portraits network, I wondered about the Coutts’s taste as collectors. The semi-reflective glass façade would not give […]

Read More

The power of portraits in context: A study day at Hardwick Hall by Liz Waring

I had been looking forward to the Understanding British Portraits Study Day at Hardwick Hall from the moment it was announced.  Since first encountering ‘Bess of Hardwick’ 12 years ago when I moved to the area I have become something of an enthusiast. Combined with my equally keen interest in 16th and 17th century portraiture, […]

Read More

An insight to Bethlem through the lens of Henry Hering: a workshop, by Anna Sparham

I felt a strong draw to this workshop, ‘Henry Hering’s early asylum photography; the collection in context’. My interest was triggered by my familiarity with the photographs themselves, but it was the word ‘context’ in the title that hooked me. No, the word itself is not particularly arresting, but the prospect of gaining some knowledge […]

Read More

UBP Annual Seminar 2015: ‘Context is key!’ by Hannah Lyons

For a long time I have been following the Understanding British Portraits network and this year, having been offered a place and travel bursary, I attended the Annual Seminar for the first time. And I agree with the many delegates who have already stated on various social media channels (@UBPnetwork) that the seminar was a […]

Read More