Art UK has updated its cookies policy. By using this website you are agreeing to the use of cookies. To find out more read our updated Use of Cookies policy and our updated Privacy policy.

Maysie Webb (1923–2005), Deputy Director (1971–1983)

© the artist's estate / Bridgeman Images. Image credit: The Trustees of the British Museum

How you can use this image

This image can be used for non-commercial research or private study purposes, and other UK exceptions to copyright permitted to users based in the United Kingdom under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised. Any other type of use will need to be cleared with the rights holder(s).

Review the copyright credit lines that are located underneath the image, as these indicate who manages the copyright (©) within the artwork, and the photographic rights within the image.

The collection that owns the artwork may have more information on their own website about permitted uses and image licensing options.

Review our guidance pages which explain how you can reuse images, how to credit an image and how to find images in the public domain or with a Creative Commons licence available.


Add or edit a note on this artwork that only you can see. You can find notes again by going to the ‘Notes’ section of your account.

At a time when women in senior executive positions were rare, Miss Webb, who had left school with few qualifications at the age of 16, was in 1960 appointed Head of the Patent Office Library, having obtained a library qualification and a degree through part-time study. In 1966 she was Head of the new National Research Library of Science & Invention (NRLSI). She was promoted to the new post of Assistant Director of the British Museum in 1968, becoming Deputy Director in 1971. The portrait was commissioned to mark her retirement in 1983. Her particular concern was with the financial management of the Museum, one Chairman remarking that she ‘treats the intricacies of financial devolution like a crossword puzzle for the morning train’.

British Museum



Maysie Webb (1923–2005), Deputy Director (1971–1983)




oil on canvas


H 76.5 x W 51.7 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

commissioned by the Board of Trustees, 1983

Work type



See a tag that’s incorrect or offensive? Challenge it and notify Art UK.

Help improve Art UK. Tag artworks and verify existing tags by joining the Tagger community.

British Museum

Great Russell Street, London, Greater London WC1B 3DG England

This venue is open to the public. Not all artworks are on display. If you want to see a particular artwork, please contact the venue.
View venue