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.

Sir Edward Maunde Thompson (1840–1929), Director and Principal Librarian (1888–1909)

Photo 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.

‘Long after ill health forced his retirement in August 1909, stories of his savage temper and autocratic disposition lingered in the folk memory of the museum’s staff’ (Oxford Dictionary of National Biography). Maunde Thompson, who was appointed Principal Librarian in 1888 (subsequently adding the title ‘and Director’) was an autocrat, his severe ideas of indecorous behaviour included failure by senior staff to wear a top hat on Museum premises and the crime by a junior of riding a bicycle in the street.

British Museum





oil on canvas


H 116 x W 91 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

presented to the sitter by a body of subscribers, and given by the sitter to the British Museum, 1917

Work type



You can help us tag artworks on Tagger. The tags above come from the public, and also from an image recognition project run by the Visual Geometry Group, University of Oxford.

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