Correspondence of James Laver, 1899-1975, art critic

Scope and Content

  • Over 1000 letters from artists such as Georges Braque, John Piper, Eric Gill and Edward Hopper, 1881-1975
  • Correspondence and notes relating to the artist James Whistler (1834-1903), 1925-1969

Administrative / Biographical History

James Laver was born in Liverpool in 1899 and was educated at the Liverpool Institute and New College Oxford. He was Keeper in the Departments of Engraving, Illustration and Design, and of Paintings in the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. He wrote widely on art and costume. He died in 1975.


The material is arranged into two series: correspondence from artists arranged alphabetically by sender and correspondence and notes relating to James Whistler

Access Information

Access is open, however an appointment may be required. Please email Archives and Special Collections for advice:

Acquisition Information

Purchase : Sotheby's : 17 December 1981 : ACCN 4417. Purchased with help form the Local Museums Purchase Fund

Other Finding Aids

Conditions Governing Use

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents. Applications for permission to quote should be sent to Archives and Special Collections, please email:

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 247 procedures

Custodial History



  • Purchase : George MacManus : 1982 : ACCN 4496
  • Purchase : Colin Huggett : 1996 : ACCN 4673

Related Material

GB 247 MS Whistler: Papers of James McNeill Whistler