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Aglionby, William (1641–1705), diplomat and writer on art, was born in the summer of 1641, the second son of George Aglionby (d. 1643), who died shortly after being appointed dean of Canterbury by Charles I, and his wife, Sibilla Smith. George had previously been employed by the ...

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Aldred, Cyril (1914–1991), Egyptologist and art historian, was born on 19 February 1914 at 41 Beltran Road, Fulham, London, the fifth of the six children of Frederick Aldred, a civil servant, and his wife, Lilian Ethel Underwood. Educated at the Sloane School, Chelsea...

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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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Archibald Alison (1757–1839) by William Walker, pubd 1823 (after Sir Henry Raeburn) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Amherst [formerly Tyssen-Amherst], Alicia Margaret [married name Alicia Margaret Cecil, Lady Rockley] (1865–1941), garden historian, was born on 30 July 1865 at Didlington Hall, Didlington, near Mundford, Norfolk, fifth of the seven children (all daughters) of William Amhurst Tyssen-Amherst (1835–1909), landowner, and his wife, ...

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Anthony Blunt

revised by Rosemary Mitchell

Antal, Frederick (1887–1954), art historian, was born in Budapest on 21 December 1887, the only child of Alajos Antal MD and his wife, Sofia Gerstl. He first studied at the university of his native city, where he graduated as a doctor of law, but later he went to ...

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Armstrong, Sir Walter (1849–1918), museum director and art historian, was born at Hawick, Roxburghshire, on 7 February 1849, the elder of the two sons and three daughters of Walter Armstrong, a merchant described as 'a man of handsome fortune' (Spielmann), and his wife, ...

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Janet Arnold (1932–1998) by unknown photographer © reserved; private collection; photograph National Portrait Gallery, London

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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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Ashmole, Bernard (1894–1988), archaeologist and art historian, was born on 22 June 1894 in Ilford, Essex, the youngest in a family of two sons and three daughters of William Ashmole, auctioneer and estate agent, and his wife, Sarah Caroline Wharton, née Tiver. Both parents had strong literary and religious interests. He was educated at ...

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Samuel Morrison

revised by Andrew Saint

Aslin, Charles Herbert (1893–1959), architect, was born at 34 Burnell Road, Owlerton, Ecclesfield, Yorkshire, on 15 December 1893, the younger of two sons of Arthur William Aslin and his wife, Louisa Annie Outram. His parents were originally from Lincolnshire and Derbyshire, but by the time of ...

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See Aslin, Charles Herbert

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Baker, Charles Henry Collins (1880–1959), art historian and painter, was born on 24 January 1880 at Bay Hill, Ilminster, Somerset, the son of John Collins Baker, solicitor, and his wife, Fanny Henrietta Remmett. He was educated at Berkhamsted before attending the Royal Academy Schools...

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Baxandall, Michael David Kighley (1933–2008), art historian, was born on 18 August 1933 at 22 Gordon Road, Cardiff, the only son and eldest child of David Kighley Baxandall (1905–1992), museum director, and his wife, (Sarah) Isobel Mary, née Thomas (1905–1990). His twin sisters, ...

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Beckett, Ronald Brymer (1891–1970), administrator in India and art historian, was born on 17 January 1891 in Micklefield Terrace, Rawdon, Yorkshire, the son of James Robertson Beckett (1855–1923), manager in a firm of silk and woollen merchants, and his wife, Annie Bertha Murray (1864–1952)...

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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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Sir Otto John Beit, first baronet (1865–1930) by H. Walter Barnett © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Quentin Claudian Stephen Bell (1910–1996) by Duncan Fraser, 1982 [in his pottery at Cobbe Place] © Duncan Fraser; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

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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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Bellaigue de Bughas, Sir Geoffrey de (1931–2013), art historian and curator, was born on 12 March 1931 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Paris, the son of Vicomte Pierre de Bellaigue de Bughas (1902–1995), mining engineer, and his wife, Marie-Antoinette Gertrude (Toinon) Willemin (1904–1996), who was French governess to princesses ...