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Sir John Forsdyke (1883–1979), Director and Principal Librarian (1936–1950)

© the copyright holder. Photo credit: The Trustees of the British Museum

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Forsdyke is shown here in full court uniform, the only Director and Principal Librarian so depicted. Prior to this appointment he was from 1932 Keeper of Greek and Roman Antiquities where he had the task of dealing with the formidable Sir Joseph Duveen who funded the gallery in which the Parthenon Sculptures are displayed. Forsdyke was much involved in planning for the evacuation of the collections and the care of the Museum during the Second World War, situations requiring meticulous planning in which his inability to delegate proved advantageous. He remained on site throughout the Blitz during which the Museum was struck by bombs on a number of occasions.

British Museum





oil on canvas


H 76.8 x W 63.9 cm

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presented by a body of subscribers

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