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BOASE, Thomas Sherrer Ross (1898-1974)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 1518 CI/TSRB
Held at: Courtauld Institute of Art
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Full title: BOASE, Thomas Sherrer Ross (1898-1974)
Date(s): [1930]-1972
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 3 boxes
Name of creator(s): Boase | Thomas Sherrer Ross | 1898-1974 | historian and arts administrator


Administrative/Biographical history:

Born in Dundee, 1898; educated at a local preparatory school, and at Rugby, 1912-[1917]; Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, 1917-1919; served on the Western Front and was awarded the MC, World War One, 1918; read modern history at Magdalen College, Oxford, 1919-1921; Fellow and Tutor of Hertford College, Oxford, 1922-1937; Director of the Courtauld Institute of Art and Professor of History of Art, University of London, 1937-1947; served with the Government Code and Cipher School at Bletchley Park, and then with the RAF at Cairo, Egypt, 1939-1941; head of British Council activities in the Middle East as Chief Representative, based at Cairo, 1943-1945; President of Magdalen College, Oxford, 1947-1968; Vice-Chancellor, Oxford University, 1958-1960; Fellow of the British Academy, 1961; Trustee of the National Gallery, 1947-1953, and British Museum, 1950-1969; member of the Advisory Council of the Victoria and Albert Museum, 1947-1970; collected material for various publications, and edited Hanns Hammelmann's notes, which led to the publication of Book Illustrators in Eighteenth-century England (details below), 1971-1974; died 1974.
Publications: Boniface VIII (Constable and Co, London, 1933); St Francis of Assisi (Duckworth, London, 1936); Bodleian picture book no. 1: English Romanesque Illumination (Oxford: Bodleian Library, 1951); general editor of the Oxford History of English Art, also writing two out of eleven volumes (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1949-); English Art, 1100-1216 (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1953); Bodleian picture book no. 10: English Illumination of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries (Bodleian Library, Oxford, 1954); Christ bearing the Cross. A study in taste (Oxford University Press, London, 1955); English Art 1800-1870 (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1959); The York Psalter (Faber and Faber, London, 1962); Castles and Churches of the Crusading Kingdom (Oxford University Press, London, 1967); Kingdoms and Strongholds of the Crusaders (Thames and Hudson, London, 1971); Death in the Middle Ages; mortality, judgement and remembrance (Thames and Hudson, London, 1972);Georgio Vasari: the man and the book (Princeton University Press, 1979); Nebuchadnezzar (with Arthur Boyd) (Thames and Hudson, London, 1972); Book Illustrators in Eighteenth-century England (with H.A.Hammelmann) (Yale University Press, 1975); The Cilian Kingdom of Armenia Editor (Scottish Academic Press, Edinburgh, 1978); A History of the Crusades: Volume IV - The Art and Architecture of the Crusader States (mainly consists of essays by Boase) edited by H W Hazard (University of Wisconsin Press, 1977).
Articles:'Fontevrault and the Plantagenets' British Archaeological Journal Series III, Vol. XXXIV pp1-10 (1971); 'An extra-illustrated second folio of Shakespeare' British Museum Quarterly Vol. XX pp4-8 (March 1955); 'The Frescoes of Cremona Cathedral' Papers of the British School at Rome Vol XXIV pp206-215 (1956); 'Samuel Courtauld' Burlington Magazine Vol XC p29 (Jan 1948); 'Sir David Wilkie's Chair' Country Life Vol CXXV pp349 (1959); 'The Arts in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem' Journal of the Warburg Institute Vol II pp1-21 (1938); from the Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes: 'A seventeenth-century Carmelite legend based on Tacitus' Vol III pp107-118 (1939); 'Illustrations of Shakespeare's plays in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth centuries' Vol X pp83-108 (1947); 'A seventeenth-century typographical cycle of paintings in the Armenian cathedral of Julfa' Vol XIII pp323-327 (1950); 'An English copy of a Carracci altarpiece' Vol XV pp253-254 (1953); 'The decoration of the new Palace of Westminster, 1841 - 1863' Vol XVII pp319-358 (1954); 'English artists and the Val d'Aorta' Vol XIX pp283-293 (1956); 'Shipwrecks in English Romantic painting' Vol XXII pp332-346 (1959); 'John Graham Rough: a transitional sculptor' Vol XXIII pp277-290 (1960); 'Macklin and Bowyer' Vol XXVI pp148-77 (1963); 'Biblical Illustration in Nineteenth-century English Art' Vol XXIX pp349-67 (1966); 'The Medici in Elizabethan and Jacobean drama' Vol XXVII pp373-378 (1974).

David John Wallace, whose photographs form a large part of this collection, lived in Athens, and travelled through the Balkans, Greece and Turkey in the 1930s, photographing sites of archaeological interest to those engaged in studies of the Crusader period. These photographs are of inestimable value, particularly as many of the sites he photographed are probably no longer in existence today. Wallace was killed in action in Greece, August 1944, serving with the 10th Greek Division, and was awarded the George Cross.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Thomas Sherrer Ross Boase, [1930]-1972, comprising notes and drafts for lectures and essays by Boase, 1963-1972 and undated, including maps and photographs, sketches of buildings, notes on people and places; typescript articles and lectures etc, undated; correspondence, 1938-1939, largely with David Wallace, but also including a letter from Dame Freya Stark; photographs and negatives, mostly taken by David John Wallace, of sites of archaelogical interest of the Crusader period, largely located in Greece and Turkey, but also in Cyprus, Albania, Italy and Yugoslavia, undated [1930s]; photographs and postcards of sculptures, general views, architecture and illuminations, mainly located in Great Britain, Greece and the Middle East (many used as the illustrations to Boase's various books on the Crusader kingdoms and the art and architecture of the period), undated; printed maps and leaflets of the Middle East, Italy and Serbia, 1942-1970, both historical and contemporary; miscellaneous publications and printed matter, 1954-1972.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:
English and French

System of arrangement:

Arranged in sections as above.

Conditions governing access:

Initial applications should be made to the Deputy Librarian, Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R ORN. At least one week's notice is generally required for access to archival material.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Material may be photocopied subject to the approval of the Librarian or Archivist, and provided it does not breach the provisions of the Copyright Act, 1988.

Finding aids:

A detailed catalogue is available in the Courtauld Institute Library. This includes a place-name index of all places covered by the Boase papers.

Archival Information

Archival history:

The David Wallace photographs were donated by Boase to the Conway Library in the Courtauld Institute. Wallace sent sets of labelled prints and his rolls of negatives to Boase in England.

Immediate source of acquisition:

On Boase's death, the books and papers relating to Crusader art and architecture were given to the Courtauld Institute, with the remaining material bequeathed to Magdalen College, Oxford.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Correspondence with Duckworth and Co, 1936-1937, held at London University Library (ref: Duckworth); correspondence with Lord Kenneth Clark, 1947-1953, held at the Tate Gallery Archive (ref: 8812); correspondence relating to the Society for the Protection of Science and Learning, 1939-1953, held at Oxford University, Bodleian Library, Special Collections and Western Manuscripts (ref: SPSL); correspondence and papers, held at Oxford University, Magdalen College Archives (ref: MS 886, GPD/16).

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Sources: Who's Who 1897-1996 (A & C Black, 1996); Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 1995); Courtauld Institute of Art catalogue; British Library On-Line Public Access Catalogue 97; National Register of Archives; Commonwealth War Graves Commission Debt of Honour Register. Compiled by Julie Tancell as part of the AIM25 Project.

Rules or conventions:
National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal Place and Corporate Names 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
April 2000

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