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.

Brinsley Ford

56 boxes. This material has been catalogued. Please search the archive catalogue for full details. (Ref RBF)

The archive contains material concerning British and Irish travellers in Italy in the eighteenth century, compiled by Brinsley Ford between c.1950 and 1988. Further papers have been added since this time and the archive was edited by John Ingamells for publication as A Dictionary of British and Irish Travellers in Italy, 1701-1800 (1997). It comprises research notes, correspondence, transcriptions and copies of original sources, photocopies of published material, publications and photographs. The core of the archive is an alphabetical sequence of British and Irish travellers that includes artists, antiquaries, collectors and the nobility. There are further sections on foreign travellers and general subjects covering the arts, taste and patronage. The archive also includes Brinsley Ford's unpublished typescript Aspects of the Grand Tour.

The centre also holds material from Ford's library.

Sir (Richard) Brinsley Ford (1908-1999) was a gentleman-scholar, connoisseur and collector. His publications included 'Drawings of Richard Wilson' (1951) and 'English Taste in the Eighteenth Century' (1956). He was chairman of the National Art Collections Fund (1975-1980).

John Baskett, art dealer and advisor to Paul Mellon, on collectors such as Brinsley Ford:

Man sat in study with paintings hung on walls

Sir (Richard) Brinsley Ford, 1992

Digital image courtesy of Derry Moore