Past event

The British as Art Collectors: from King Charles I and the 1600s to 2000

Charles Sebag-Montefiore is a Trustee of the National Gallery in London, The Wordsworth Trust in Grasmere and the Harewood House Trust and is Honorary Treasurer of several charities devoted to fine and applied art, museums and art galleries, books, libraries and conservation.

He has served as Joint Secretary of the Society of Dilettanti since 2002 and was a Trustee of the Art Fund for 11 years (2000-11) and of the Samuel Courtauld Trust for 15 years (1992-2007).

He is the author of several books and articles devoted to the British as art collectors, and joint author of ‘The British as Art Collectors: from the Tudors to the Present' (Scala, 2012), a survey on collecting in Great Britain over 500 years.

His book ‘A Dynasty of Dealers: John Smith and Successors 1801-1924' (Roxburghe Club, 2013) is a study of the art market in nineteenth-century London for high-end Dutch and Flemish pictures, told through a collection of 564 unpublished letters between significant collectors and a leading dealer of the day.

He is also the joint editor of ‘Brooks's 1764-2014: The Story of a Whig Club' (2013) and is currently working on a ‘Dictionary of British Art Collectors, 1600--1939'.

He retired in December 2012 from a lifetime working in the financial sector in the City of London, but has spent almost 50 years creating a library devoted to the study of the British as art collectors and to the provenance of paintings.

It comprises privately printed and publicly published catalogues of private collections from 1628 onwards, auction sale catalogues and related manuscript letters and inventories.

This library, perhaps the largest of its kind in private hands, will ultimately pass to the National Gallery, London.

There will be a reception in Lower College Hall, St Salvator's Quad, after the lecture, to which all attendees are invited.

Presented by: Charles Sebag-Montefiore.