Charles Henry Collins Baker, research papers

Scope and Content

The archive contains the following:

Box 1 - Papers and notebooks I, contains: notebook titled NPG Notes on Collections (1945); copy of commencement address at the California Institute of Technology, June 10 1938, 'Experiment and Experience' by Edwin Hubble; folder containing notes on artists and sitters, possibly arranged under V; folder labelled 'Quality' containing drafts of essays or lectures; images of portraits; folder labelled 'Vanderbank' contains research on John Vanderbank and the Verelst family; loose notes and correspondence, including possibly some lectures or articles; typed biographical information on artists; folder titled Lectures, contains drafts and notes on lectures many on lithography and draughtsmanship. Possibly includes research for projected book on minor Georgian portrait painters.
Box 2 - Papers and notebooks II, contains: annotated card, the front of which is labelled 'Index to Note books'; list titled 'Bibles'; envelope containing photographs of paintings by Charles J. Holmes, and three original sketches by Holmes; various untitled folders, loose correspondence, images, notes and drafts of articles or lectures; folder containing photographs of various portraits and paintings, the backs of some of which are annotated; notebook containing notes on various portraits and landscapes; published pamphlets by Baker. Possibly includes research for projected book on minor Georgian portrait painters.

Box 3 - Papers III, contains: notes on portrait collections; typed biographical information on painters; correspondence relating to portraits; notebook containing notes on portraits in various collections. Possibly includes research for projected book on minor Georgian portrait painters.

Box 4 - Notebooks IV, nine notebooks containing notes on various portrait and painting collections, some of the notebooks also contain sketches of portraits.

Box 5 - Notebooks V, thirteen notebooks containing notes on various portrait and painting collections, including some in the United States of America and Europe.

Box 6 - Correspondence, notebooks etc VI, contains: four notebooks containing various notes and some sketches; notes and correspondence thought to relate to projected book on minor Georgian portrait painters; two sheets of coloured drawings, possibly copies of other portraits and paintings, one of which is initialled M.B. - possibly Collins Baker's wife Muriel.

Box 7 - Notes VII, contains: notes on various portraits, possibly research for a publication, and correspondence relating to portraiture.

Box 8 - Notes VIII, contains: pencil drawing by unknown artist of a mountain scene; notes on portraits and artists; correspondence; extracts from publications and images.

Box 9 - Images IX, contains: various photographs of portraits some of which are annotated on the back.

Box 10 - Research, notes, and drafts of writings (unclear if published) on Thomas Hudson

The seven card index drawers are arranged alphabetically by artist and contain entries on individual portraits.

Administrative / Biographical History

Charles Henry Collins Baker (1880-1959) was born in Ilminster, Somerset; he was the son of John Collins Baker, solicitor, and his wife Fanny Henrietta Remmett. He was educated at Berkhamsted before attending the Royal Academy Schools. In 1903, he married Muriel Isabella (1874/5-1956), they had one daughter Phyllis.

Baker began his career as a landscape painter, he exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1907 and at the New English Art Club from 1909-16, also serving as the club's honorary secretary from 1921 to 1925. In 1911 he accepted an appointment as private assistant to Sir Charles Holroyd, director of the National Gallery, rising to the rank of keeper in 1914. In 1912 his pioneering work 'Lely and the Stuart Portrait Painters' was published.

Continuing his work as keeper, Collins Baker in 1928 accepted the position of surveyor of the King's pictures, 'A Catalogue of the Pictures at Hampton Court' was published in 1929. He resigned from this position in 1934 and was made CVO. In 1930 he accepted the offer to prepare a catalogue of the British paintings in the Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery in San Marino, California. In 1932 he became senior research associate in British art at the Huntington, resigning from the National Gallery.

In 1937 he published a catalogue of the pictures at Windsor and in 1949 together with his wife he published a study of the papers at the Huntington of James Brydges, first duke of Chandos. He returned to England on his retirement from the Huntington in 1949 and worked on a projected book on minor Georgian portrait painters. He died on 3 July 1959 at his home in Finchley.

Access Information

Available to view by appointment in the Heinz Archive and Library Public Study Room, to make an appointment contact Archive Reception . Although records are generally available for public consultation, some information in them, such as personal data or information supplied to the Gallery in confidence, may be restricted.

Conditions Governing Use

Personal photography is permitted for research purposes only. Photocopying is not permitted.