News

The Brian Sewell Archive is now fully catalogued

  • 14 May 2020

The Brian Sewell Archive, which comprises papers collected and created by Sewell over the course of his life, has been fully catalogued. The descriptions are now live and searchable in the archive catalogue available on our website. 

Brian Sewell (1931–2015) was a British art historian, author, critic and media personality. The Sewell Archive was donated to the Centre in 2016; although some personal material is included – correspondence, photographs, travel journals and passports etc – the majority of the collection relates to his career as a writer. Best known for his regular Evening Standard articles about the arts, Sewell’s output was prodigious and he also wrote for many other publications on various subjects, including cars, dogs and travel. The archive, therefore, presents a unique resource not only for the study of art history during the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, but also for social history of the same period. The archive also contains a small amount of material relating to Sewell’s interest in fakes and forgeries, his activities as a collector and dealer, and his work for television and radio.

The Brian Sewell Archive is the largest of the Centre’s collections and comprises nearly 2,000 catalogue entries, including 1,157 files relating to the articles he wrote about the arts.

The Centre is closed in response to the pandemic so the Brian Sewell Archive is not open for in-person consultation at this time. However, it is possible to respond to some enquiries remotely, so please contact us if you have a question concerning the archive at collections@paul-mellon-centre.ac.uk.

A passport of a man dated 1963 open to show the photograph page.

Passport pages showing Sewell's personal information, dated 1963-1973 - BS/1/1/7_b,