Collection online

oil painting

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Portrait of Sir John Forsdyke (1883-1979) wearing court dress.
    Oil on canvas.

  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 20thC
  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 768 millimetres
    • Width: 639 millimetres (C terrey)
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Presented by a body of subscribers.
  • Curator's comments

    Forsdyke is shown here in full court dress, the only Director and Principal Librarian so depicted. Prior to this appointment in 1936 he was from 1932 Keeper of Greek & Roman Antiquities where he had the task of dealing with the formidable Sir Joseph Duveen who funded the gallery in which the Parthenon Sculptures are displayed.
    Forsdyke was much involved in planning for the evacuation of the collections and the care of the Museum during the Second World War, situations requiring meticulous planning in which his inability to delegate proved advantageous. He remained on site throughout the Blitz during which the Museum was struck by bombs on a number of occasions.
    Bentley Bridgewater (then Museum Secretary) used to comment that after painting some of the gold braid the artist got fed up and resorted to splodges.


  • Location

    Not on display (Boardroom)

  • Exhibition history

    Old Boardroom.
    New Wing boardroom (to 2003)
    Trustees' strongroom (in storage)

  • Condition

    For most recent condition report see Lynne Harrison, DCDS 2.8.05.

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition notes

    The cost of the portrait was funded by a body of suscribers, presumably on the sitter's retirement in 1950.

  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number


Portrait of Sir John Forsdyke (1883-1979) wearing court dress.  Oil on canvas.


Portrait of Sir John Forsdyke (1883-1979) wearing court dress. Oil on canvas.

Image description



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Object reference number: PIC135448

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