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Abrahams, Ivor (1935–2015), painter, printmaker, and art teacher  

James Huntington-Whiteley

Abrahams, Ivor (1935–2015), painter, printmaker, and art teacher, was born on 10 January 1935 at 10 Swinley Road, Wigan, Lancashire, the only son and elder child of Hyman (Harry) Abrahams, ladies’ outfitter, and his wife, Rachel (née Kalisky, later Kay). At the time of his birth registration the family lived at ...

Article

Abramsky, Chimen (1916–2010), bookseller and historian  

Steven J. Zipperstein

Abramsky, Chimen (1916–2010), bookseller and historian, was born on 16 September 1916 in Smalyavichy, near Minsk, Russia, the third of four sons of Yehezkel Abramsky (1886–1976), rabbinic scholar, and his wife, Reizel (d. 1965), daughter of the leading rabbinic figure Israel Jonathan Jerusalimsky...

Article

Abse, Daniel [Dannie] (1923–2014), physician, poet, and author  

Tony Curtis

Abse, Daniel [Dannie] (1923–2014), physician, poet, and author, was born on 22 September 1923 at 161 Whitchurch Road, Gabalfa, Cardiff, the youngest of four children of Rudolf Abse (1887–1964), cinema proprietor, and his wife, Kate, née Shepherd (1890–1981...

Article

Acton, Sir Harold Mario Mitchell (1904–1994), aesthete and author  

Edward Chaney

Acton, Sir Harold Mario Mitchell (1904–1994), aesthete and author, was born at his parents' magnificent villa at La Pietra, a mile north of Florence, on 5 July 1904, the son of Arthur Mario Acton (d. 1953) and his wife, Hortense Mitchell (...

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Cover Acton, Sir Harold Mario Mitchell (1904–1994)

Acton, Sir Harold Mario Mitchell (1904–1994)  

Maker: John Ward

In 

Sir Harold Mario Mitchell Acton (1904–1994) by John Ward, 1985 © National Portrait Gallery, London

Article

Adams [née Bishop], Barbara Georgina (1945–2002), archaeologist and museum curator  

H. S. Smith

Adams [née Bishop], Barbara Georgina (1945–2002), archaeologist and museum curator, was born on 19 February 1945 at Hammersmith Hospital, London, the only child of Charles Bishop, labourer, and his wife, Ellaline, née Cowdrey, cleaner, of 24 Lena Gardens, Hammersmith, London. She won a scholarship to ...

Article

Aglionby, William (1641–1705), diplomat and writer on art  

Henry Summerson

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 ...

Article

Aldred, Cyril (1914–1991), Egyptologist and art historian  

T. G. H. James

Aldred, Cyril (1914–1991), Egyptologist and art historian, was born on 19 February 1914 at 41 Beltran Road, Fulham, London, the sixth of the seven children of Frederick Aldred (1876–1957), a postman and post office sorter, and his wife, Lilian Ethel Underwood...

Article

Alexander, William (1767–1816), artist and museum curator  

Richard Garnett

revised by Heather M. MacLennan

Alexander, William (1767–1816), artist and museum curator, was born at Maidstone, Kent, on 10 April 1767, one of the three sons and one daughter of Harry Alexander, a coachbuilder. A pencil and watercolour sketch by Alexander of the street where he was born is in ...

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Cover Alison, Archibald (1757–1839)

Alison, Archibald (1757–1839)  

Maker: William Walker

In 

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

Article

Alison, Archibald (1757–1839), Scottish Episcopal clergyman and writer on aesthetics  

Philip Carter

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 ...

Article

Amherst [formerly Tyssen-Amherst], Alicia Margaret [married name Alicia Margaret Cecil, Lady Rockley] (1865–1941), garden historian  

Jason Tomes

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, ...

Article

Anderson, William (1842–1900), anatomist and writer on art  

Thomas Seccombe

revised by Mark Pottle

Anderson, William (1842–1900), anatomist and writer on art, was born on 18 December 1842 in London at the Eldon Arms, Queen Square, the son of William Henry Anderson, licensed victualler, and his wife, Ann, formerly Cattel. After attending the City of London School...

Article

Angerstein, John Julius (1735–1823), insurance broker and connoisseur of art  

Sarah Palmer

Angerstein, John Julius (1735–1823), insurance broker and connoisseur of art, was born in St Petersburg, Russia, in 1735. His precise origins are obscure. According to family tradition he took his surname from the German doctor who delivered him, and his parents were the ...

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Cover Angerstein, John Julius (c. 1732–1823)

Angerstein, John Julius (c. 1732–1823)  

Maker: Sir Thomas Lawrence

John Julius Angerstein (c. 1732–1823) by Sir Thomas Lawrence, c. 1790–95 © The National Gallery, London

Article

Antal, Frederick (1887–1954), art historian  

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 ...

Article

Armstrong, Sir Walter (1849–1918), museum director and art historian  

Kenneth Garlick

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...

Article

Arnold, James Edward [Jim] (1945–2019), museum director and heritage campaigner  

Helen Martin

Arnold, James Edward [Jim] (1945–2019), museum director and heritage campaigner, was born on 16 March 1945 at Glasgow Maternity Hospital, the son of (Ernest) Edward Arnold (1920–1999), a coalminer, and his wife Mary Orr Laird, née Hutchison (1925–1990...

Article

Arnold, Janet (1932–1998), costume historian  

Santina M. Levey

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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Cover Arnold, Janet (1932–1998)

Arnold, Janet (1932–1998)  

Maker: unknown photographer

In 

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