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Alison, Archibald (1757–1839), Scottish Episcopal clergyman and writer on aesthetics, was born in Edinburgh, the son of Archibald Alison (1730–1794), lord provost of the city, originally of Newhall, Coupar Angus, and Margaret Harte (d. 1811), of Listerick, near Edinburgh. Alison was educated at ...

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Arnold, Janet (1932–1998), costume historian, was born on 6 October 1932 at Duncan House, Clifton Down Road, Bristol, the only child of Frederick Charles Arnold (1898–1976), ironmonger, and his wife, Adeline, née Jacob (1895–1985), a nurse, daughter of the Revd Thomas Jacob and his wife, ...

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Beit, Sir Otto John, first baronet (1865–1930), financier, philanthropist, and art connoisseur, was born on 7 December 1865 in Hamburg, Germany, twelve years after his brother Alfred Beit. He was the third son of Siegfried Beit (1818–1881), silk merchant, and his wife, Laura Caroline Hahn (...

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Bell, Quentin Claudian Stephen (1910–1996), art historian and potter, was born into the heart of the Bloomsbury group on 19 August 1910, the younger son of (Arthur) Clive Heward Bell (1881–1964), art critic, and his wife, Vanessa Bell (1879–1961), painter, and the daughter of ...

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Binyon, (Robert) Laurence (1869–1943), poet and art historian, was born on 10 August 1869 at 1 High Street, Lancaster, the second of the nine children of Frederick Binyon (1838–1900), vicar of Burton in Lonsdale, Yorkshire, and his wife, Mary (1839–1919), daughter of Robert Benson Dockray (1811–1871)...

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Michael Kitson

revised by Miranda Carter

Blunt, Anthony Frederick (1907–1983), art historian and spy, was born at Holy Trinity vicarage, Bournemouth, Hampshire, on 26 September 1907, the third and youngest son (there were no daughters) of the Revd (Arthur) Stanley Vaughan Blunt (1870–1929) and his wife, Hilda Violet (1880–1969)...

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Browse, Lillian Gertrude (1906–2005), art dealer and art historian, was born at 2 Carlton Mansions, West End Lane, Hampstead, London, on 21 April 1906, the younger child of Michael Browse, entrepreneur, champion cyclist, and son of a Jewish White Russian émigré who had settled in ...

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Cartwright [married name Ady], Julia Mary (1851–1924), art historian and biographer, was born at the family home, Edgcote House, Edgcote, Northamptonshire, on 7 November 1851, one of the ten children of Richard Aubrey Cartwright and his wife, Mary Fremantle (d. 1885)...

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Colvin, Sir Sidney (1845–1927), art and literary scholar and museum administrator, was born at Norwood, Surrey, on 18 June 1845, the youngest of the three children (all sons) who survived infancy of Bazett David Colvin (1805–1871), East India merchant, and his wife, Mary Steuart (1821–1902)...

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Conway, (William) Martin, Baron Conway of Allington (1856–1937), art historian and mountaineer, was born on 12 April 1856 at Rochester, Kent, the only son of William Conway, a low-church evangelical vicar of St Nicholas's Church, Rochester, afterwards rector of St Margaret's Church, Westminster...

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Coomaraswamy, Ananda Kentish (1877–1947), art historian, was born on 22 August 1877 in Colombo, Ceylon, the only child of Sir Mutu Coomaraswamy (1834–1879), barrister, politician, and scholar of Buddhism and Hinduism, and his wife, Elizabeth Clay Beeby, the elder daughter of William John Beeby...

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Laurence Binyon

revised by Christopher Lloyd

Cust, Sir Lionel Henry (1859–1929), art historian, was born at 13 Eccleston Square, London, on 25 January 1859, the only son of Sir Reginald John Cust (d. 1913), barrister, and his wife, Lady Elizabeth Caroline (d. 1914), elder daughter of Edward Bligh, ...

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Dilke [née Strong; other married name Pattison], Emilia Francis, Lady Dilke (1840–1904), art historian and trade unionist, was born on 2 September 1840 in Ilfracombe, Devon, the fourth of the six children of Henry Strong (1794–1876) and his wife, Emily Weedon (...

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Ford, Sir (Richard) Brinsley (1908–1999), art connoisseur, was born on 10 June 1908 at The Elmes, Wisborough Green, Petworth, Sussex, the only son of Captain Richard Ford (1860–1940), officer in the rifle brigade, and his first wife, Rosamund Isabel (1872–1911), daughter of Sir John Ramsden, ...

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Fortnum, Charles Drury Edward (1820–1899), art collector and art historian, was born on 2 March 1820 in Holloway, London, the son of Charles Fortnum (1770–1860), merchant, and his second wife, Laetitia Stephens (1782–1853), widow of Lieutenant Robert Basden RN (d. 1810). He was baptized ...

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Foskett [née Kirk], Daphne (1911–1998), art connoisseur and writer, was born on 23 December 1911 at Shoddesden, Kimpton, Hampshire, the daughter of John William Carnegie Kirk, a captain in the Duke of Cornwall's light infantry, and his wife, Agnes Maud Haynes. Her paternal grandfather was ...

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Fry, Roger Eliot (1866–1934), art historian, critic, and painter, was born on 14 December 1866 at 6 The Grove, Highgate, Middlesex, the fifth of the nine children of Sir Edward Fry (1827–1918), judge, and his wife, Mariabella (1833–1930), daughter of John Hodgkin and his wife, ...

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Gombrich, Sir Ernst Hans Josef (1909–2001), art historian, was born on 30 March 1909 in Vienna, the third and youngest child and only son of the lawyer Dr Karl B. Gombrich (1874–1950), vice-president of the disciplinary council of the Austrian bar, and his wife, ...

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Gowing, Sir Lawrence Burnett (1918–1991), painter and art historian, was born on 21 April 1918 at 53 Stamford Hill, London, the son of Horace Burnett Gowing (d. 1944), master draper, and his wife, Clara Louise Lawrence. His grandfather was a treasurer of the ...

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Gray [née Binyon], Nicolete Mary (1911–1997), historian of lettering, letter carver, and art critic, was born on 20 July 1911 at Stevenage, Hertfordshire, the last of three children of Laurence Binyon (1869–1943), poet, art critic, and scholar, and his wife, Cicely Margaret (1876–1962)...