The Society of Antiquaries of London has over 100 paintings at its apartments in Burlington House, London and at Kelmscott Manor, Gloucestershire. The Society’s collections may be small compared to those of public art galleries but they are of international significance.
Soon after its foundation in 1707, the Society became a chief repository of donations and bequests of antiquities and Old Master paintings at a time before the foundation of national museums and galleries. The collection was transformed both in size and quality by bequest of the Thomas Kerrich in 1828. Today the Society has the largest collection of portraits of English medieval and Tudor monarchs outside the National Portrait Gallery, a significant group of late medieval subject paintings, portraits of antiquarian scholars, and a number of landscapes of important sites of archaeological importance. The Pre-Raphaelite and Old Master collections at Kelmscott Manor offer a unique insight into William Morris’s occupancy of the house.