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Rupert Forbes Gunnis

The personal archive of art historian and collector Rupert Forbes Gunnis (1899 - 1965).

Gunnis is well-known for this ‘Dictionary of British Sculptors 1660-1851’, published in 1953, which was the result of many years of dedicated research by Gunnis and a team of helpers. A revised edition was recently published with the support of the Institute, and the Archive holds papers relating to both the first edition, and revision project.

Within the archive are many papers that document Gunnis’s life and work, from childhood through to the months leading up to his death in June 1965, the majority of which were written, collected or compiled by Gunnis himself. From an early age, the papers show Gunnis was a keen writer and collector of information, later finding antiquities and sculpture as the focus for his interests.

The collection also includes photograph albums, drawings, press-cuttings, scrapbooks, journals, correspondence and diaries, and is particularly rich in relation to his period of colonial service when in Cyprus from 1926-1939 where he was a founder of the Cyprus Museum and wrote ‘Historic Cyprus’.