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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 ACC/3489
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1891-2011
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 1.18 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Royal Society of Portrait Painters


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Royal Society of Portrait Painters was founded early in 1891. The impetus for the formation of the Society arose because some young portrait painters felt that their work was being excluded by the Royal Academy (of which they were not members) and so planned firstly an exhibition, then a Society of Portrait Painters. Members of the Society included Archibald John Stuart Wortley (the first President); James Jebusa Shannon; Percy Jacomb Hood; and Arthur Melville. The first exhibition was held in June 1891.

In 1911 the Society, by the permission of George V, gained the status of a Royal Society. Despite financial instability and problems finding venues for exhibitions the Society flourished and attracted critical and public attention; the annual exhibitions becoming an established part of the art calendar. The Society can boast a distinguished list of past and present members. In 1986 it became a Registered Company and in 1987 a charity.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, including minute books, agreements, rules, acceptances of membership, papers relating to annual dinners, press cuttings, and annual exhibiton catalogues. Please note that access to the collection is by written permission from the depositors only.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

ACC/3489/A: Administration; ACC/3489/001-020: Minutes; ACC/3489/021-064: Exhibition catalogues.

Conditions governing access:

Restricted access: please see staff.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to these records rests with the depositor.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The records of the Royal Society were deposited with the Greater London Record Office [now LMA] in March 1995, with further accessions in 1998 and 1999.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
June to August 2010.

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