Thomas Balston, research papers on John Martin: papers

Scope and Content

Catalogues (ca.1957-ca.1964); papers and publications on John Martin (ca.1818-ca.1966); photographs and copies of drawings by John Martin (undated).

Administrative / Biographical History

Thomas Balston (1883-1967) was educated at Eton and New College, Oxford. He served during the First World War and was awarded the Military Cross and an O.B.E. Between 1921 and 1934 he worked for the publishing firm Duckworths. He was a keen collector and assembled a fine collection of Staffordshire pottery figures which was received by the National Trust in 1963. Balston also collected the works of John Martin (1789-1854), the English Romantic painter, and wrote a biography of him. He also arranged several exhibitions celebrating John Martin, including one held at the Whitechapel Gallery in 1953. On his death in 1967 he bequeathed the majority of his collections to museums and galleries.

Conditions Governing Access

This archive collection is available for consultation in the V&A Blythe House Archive and Library Study Room by appointment only. Full details of access arrangements may be found here:

Access to some of the material may be restricted. These are noted in the catalogue where relevant.

Acquisition Information

Bequest of Thomas Balston,1968. Transferred from National Art Library, 2011.

Conditions Governing Use

Information on copying and commercial reproduction may be found here: