British Prints before 1880 Department: Prints and Drawings
Sheila O’Connell is the curator responsible for British prints up to the late nineteenth century. Her main interests are the eighteenth century print trade, particularly the career of William Hogarth, and British popular prints and satires.
+44 (0)20 7323 8208
Working with a team of cataloguers to prepare records of the collection of British prints for online access: more than 130,000 such prints already have records and efforts are currently focussed on the Museum’s outstanding collections of satirical prints, mezzotints, London topography and the work of British printmakers of the 19th century.
Curator of Britain meets the World 1714-1830, organised jointly with the Palace Museum, Beijing, and on show there from 9 March to 10 June 2007. The exhibition used objects made and collected by Britons during the reigns of George I. II, III and IV to provide an insight into Britain’s perception of itself and its place in the world.
In 2003, she organised London 1753, an exhibition portraying the city in which the British Museum was founded 250 years ago.
In 1999 she organised an exhibition dealing with the cheaper end of the print market before the days of mass production. This was accompanied by her book, The Popular Print in England
External fellowships/ honorary positions
Council Member, London Topographical Society
Curatorial adviser, Dr Johnson’s House
Trustee, William Hogarth Trust
Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries
S O'Connell (ed.), Britain meets the World (exhibition catalogue, The Palace Museum, Beijing, 2007)
S. O'Connell, London 1753 (British Museum, 2003) (British Museum exhibition catalogue)
S. O'Connell, The Popular Print in England (British Museum, 1999)
S. O'Connell, 'This Horryble Monster ...: an Anglo-German broadside of 1531', with D. Paisey, Print Quarterly, March 1999
S. O'Connell, 'William Second Baron Cheylesmore (1843-1902) and the Taste for Mezzotints', in A. Griffiths (ed.), Landmarks in Print Collecting (Houston, and elsewhere, Museum of Fine Arts, 1996-7)