Image collections

The Ri holds an impressive collection of paintings, photographs and sculptures.

  • Sir James Dewar Lecturing on Liquid Hydrogen at the Royal Institution, 1904 by Henry Jamyn Brooks

    'Sir James Dewar Lecturing on Liquid Hydrogen at the Royal Institution', 1904 by Henry Jamyn Brooks.

  • Sir Lawrence Bragg, giving the 1961 Christmas lectures in RI theatre by Terence Cuneo

    Terence Cuneo, 1962, oil on canvas - Sir Lawrence Bragg, giving the 1961 Christmas lectures in RI theatre

The Royal Institution holds several thousand images, mainly portraits and records of events which have taken place here. The larger pieces include marble sculptures, framed oil paintings and drawings. Most of the major work is on display in the public areas of the building including a set of four portraits by Henry William Pickersgill in the Grand Staircase and paintings of lectures in various media which hang in the Anteroom.

We also have a large collection of light sensitive material which can only be displayed for short periods of time.Some of these items will be shown in temporary displays in the archive case on the lower ground floor.

The bulk of the stored collection is photographic, including images of past CHRISTMAS LECTURES and albums of photos by Katharine M. Reynolds which show the RI as it was in the 1890s. We also hold watercolours by Harriet Moore and William Lawrence Bragg which give a personal view of what life was like at the RI in the 1850s and 1950s respectively.

Image collections online

You can view all our oil paintings online on the Your Paintings website.

Many of the best known images from the image collections can also be viewed at Bridgeman Art Library and the Science Photo Library.

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