detail of a painting by Teniers
D. Teniers II & F. Francken II, Picture Gallery  (© Samuel Courtauld Trust, Courtauld Institute Gallery)

In December 2006 five Research Assistants were appointed to the Witt Library and Courtauld Gallery project on Collecting and the Courtauld Collections. They formed a research team examining materials from the Witt Library and related holdings in the Photographic Survey and the Courtauld Gallery. Supervised by Dr Jane Cunningham, Dr Alexandra Gerstein and Barbara Thompson, the research assistants explored the following areas:

1. Sir Robert Witt and the Witt Collection, 1931 (using the news cuttings volume from 1929-31 and the photographic collection).

2. Duveen, Witt and the Witt collection, 1931 (using the Duveen archive, available in the Witt and the Witt photographic collection).

3. A private collection (following the history of this collection, using inventories, the Photographic Survey and the Witt photographic collection).

4. Gambier-Parry and collecting between ca. 1850-1880 (using the archives in the Courtauld Gallery).

The five research assistants presented their preliminary findings at a lunchtime seminar in the Spring 2007 term at the Research Forum, providing insights into collections including those of Sir Robert Witt and Thomas Gambier Parry. Final reports were given at a lunchtime seminar in June 2007, with both seminars provoking a wider discussion around the findings of the individual researchers.

Danu Reid’s and MacKenzie Bennett’s presentation:

Sir Robert Witt: Collector and Patriot


Sarah Burke’s presentation:

“Variety is the very principle”: Thomas Gambier Parry’s Decorative Arts


Caitlin Silberman’s presentation:

The formation of Thomas Gambier Parry’s collection


Vivian Wang’s presentation: 

Catalogues and Attributions for an English Private Collection, from the eighteenth century onwards

To view Vivian Wang's presentation, please contact