Archives & Library

Archive Collections

The Centre holds and provides access to archive material relating to the study of British art and architectural history. The collections contain the research papers of art historians, museum directors and curators; dealers; art critics, collectors and other individuals working in the field of art history.

Brian Sewell

1,958 files, 15 journals, 1 portrait, 1 coat. This material has been catalogued. Please search the archive catalogue for full details (Ref BS).

Photographic side portrait of Brian Sewell laughing The archive contains papers collected and created by Sewell over the course of his life. It includes personal items such as correspondence, photographs, passports, and programmes for cultural events, as well as material relating to his work as an art historian, critic, journalist, author, collector, dealer and media figure. The collection reflects his diverse interests and includes material related, not only to the arts, but also to the other loves of his life: dogs, cars and travel.

The bulk of the collection concerns his work as a journalist. Although Sewell was best known for his regular and often outspoken Evening Standard articles about the arts, he also wrote for a variety of other publications and on a wide range of subjects. His articles on the arts are an excellent resource for the study of art history during the 1980s–2010s, whilst the articles he wrote on popular everyday topics provide a fascinating commentary on social history. 

The archive also contains material relating to Sewell’s particular interest in fakes and forgeries; as well as the books he wrote; lectures he gave and his various television and radio projects.

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).