Section of Mané Katz (1894-1962), Portrait of Lillian Browse, 1936, Oil on Canvas, © The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London

In 1982, Art dealer Lillian Browse, nicknamed “The Duchess of Cork Street”, presented 32 works of art to the Courtauld. These included important works by Edgar Degas, Auguste Rodin and Walter Sickert, reflecting her passion for ballet.

By the 1980s The Courtauld’s growing collection and student body meant that it had fully outgrown its home in Bloomsbury.

A solution was found in Somerset House, designed by William Chambers (1723-96) and regarded as one of the most important Georgian buildings in Britain.

The Courtauld Institute of Art moved to its new home in 1989, and the gallery now occupies the premises that Chambers designed for the Society of Antiques, The Royal Society, and The Royal Academy.

      Joshua Compston

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