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Collection Summary

Collection Title
Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society, Portrait Collection
The collection of oil paintings, prints and drawings and sculpture covers a wide range of periods and dates of sitters connected with Dorset. There are 120 oil portraits, including individual sitters and several significant eighteenth and century family groups, and over 40 miniatures. The collection has evolved over the last 150 years, initially through gifts and later expanded and developed through gifts, bequests and purchases. The collection covers the period from about 1604, with particular strengths in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.
  • Paintings
  • Drawings
  • Prints
  • Sculpture
Star Item(s)
3 Rackett portraits by George Romney & portrait by Thomas Hudson
Portrait of Admiral Browne possibly by Robert Peake the Elder, portrait by Thomas Gainsborough, Lester Garland family portraits, portrait of Thomas Hardy by Herkomer and Eves, portraits of William Barnes, local Dorset sitters from 18th - 20th century
Date range of collection
1604 - 2008
Accumulation Dates
1846 - 2008
Suggested Audience
general interest
Associated People or Organisations
Associated Places
Viewing the collection
The Dorset County Museum is open to the public 6 days a week. There is a small charge for an annual ticket. Research enquiries or requests to view the reserve collection are dealt with on a weekly basis.
This collection is about

Location Details

Dorset County Museum
High West Street Dorchester DT1 1XA United Kingdom
Open Map
01305 262 735
01305 257 180 
Building Information
The museum was purpose-built in 1883 and is a grade II listed building. It was designed by G R Crickmay, the architect for whom Thomas Hardy worked in 1870. The building was expanded in the 1930s and again in 1970.
Collections Overview
The Dorset County Museum is a long-established institution and over its history has amassed rich collections reflecting the natural and man-made history of the county. Its greatest strengths are in its archaeology collection and material relating to the author Thomas Hardy.
Display Overview
The museum has displays of the natural history and archaeology of Dorset; the social and local history of the area; and in a recent new display, the Writers Gallery, devoted to the important literary figures associated with Dorset, particularly Thomas Hardy.
Star Objects
Thomas Hardy's study.
For details of other collections held at the same location: See the location record

Additional Collection Information

Accrual Status
active, purchase, deposit, periodic
Legal Status
Legal title and copyright of the collection belong to the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society
Custodial History
The collection has been housed and displayed in the Dorset County Museum in Dorchester since 1886
Related Publications
Management Information (Type)
Collection Creator(s)
Collection Collector(s)
Associated Collection(s)

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