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.

Fiona MacCarthy

Fiona MacCarthy at work 10 boxes. This collection has not yet been catalogued but a boxlist is available. (Ref FCM)

The archive comprises material created and collected by MacCarthy in the course of her career as a biographer and cultural historian. The majority of the material pertains to the books she authored and exhibitions she curated on Eric Gill, William Morris, Edward Burne-Jones, Stanley Spencer and Walter Gropius. In particular, the archive includes extensive correspondence exchanged with scholars, art historians, authors and – most notably – family members or other key individuals who were directly known to the artists or architects in question. Material related to the publication MacCarthy, F. Eric Gill. London: Faber, 1989 is particularly rich. Also of note are the general letters concerning MacCarthy’s journalism and wider work received from a variety of individuals including journalists, publishers, editors, designers, critics and friends.

The archive includes primarily correspondence. It also includes a small volume of lecture texts, photographs, reference material on general subjects including artists and designers and some personal material.

The Paul Mellon Centre also holds material from MacCarthy’s Library.

Fiona Caroline MacCarthy (1940–2020) was a biographer and cultural historian best known for her studies of nineteenth- and twentieth-century art and design. She worked as a journalist corresponding on art and design. Her biographies of Eric Gill (1884–1940) and William Morris (1834–1896) received great critical acclaim. She was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature (1997) and was awarded the Bicentenary Medal of the Royal Society of Arts. MacCarthy was appointed OBE in 2009.