The Old Speech Room was built around 1820 as a space where boys could learn the art of public speaking. In 1976, it was converted into a gallery for the School's distinguished collection of antiquities and fine art.
A professional curator manages the collections in accordance with best practice, as set out by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (Accreditation Standard). There is an ongoing programme of conservation and collections care, as well as a loans scheme. In the OSRG Arts Society, Harrovians can learn about object handling, conservation, documentation and collections care; help to research, design, curate and publicise exhibitions; and also enjoy regular visits to major art collections.
Recent Gifts and Acquisitions
- Egyptian, Greek, Etruscan and Roman antiquities.
- 19th-century English and European watercolours, prints and engravings.
- 18th-, 19th- and 20th-century oil paintings and sculpture.
- 19th-century Japanese prints and Chinese lacquerware.
- Manuscripts, rare Bibles and early printed books.
- Coins, medals and stamps.
- Photographs and natural history.
- Painting of the Harrow v Eton Cricket Match, artist unknown (c.1912).
- Sculptural group of Sir Winston Churchill and his grandson, Winston, by Willem Verbon (1953).
- Limited edition print, Linear Motif in One Movement, by Victor Pasmore (1974).
- Painting of Morning Chapel, by Gloria Jarvis (1950).
- Watercolour sketch of Churchill at Songs, by Gloria Jarvis (early 1950s).
- Monochrome print (on Somerset textured white) of Pan, by Alison Lambert (2015).
Two permanent displays on Lord Byron and Admiral Sir Edward Codrington opened in January 2016 As not all of the School's collections can be displayed at the same time, the Gallery runs a programme of termly temporary exhibitions. Recent titles include The Boy Airman – Hugh Mortimer Petty, Alexis Theodore Casdagli, and Harrow School and the Hill, 1615-2015. Later in 2017 the artworks by Simon Page, Head of Painting, will be displayed in a major exhibition depicting school life entitled ‘A Harrow Journey’.
From 3 February 2017, two new exhibitions, The H.B Harris Collection of Chinese Ceramics & Sculpture and Beauties, Actors & The Tokaido Road: Japanese Prints, will be open.
The H.B Harris Collection of Chinese Ceramics
A selection of vessels dating from the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907), collected in the early 20th century by OH Henry Blackwall Harris (Small Houses and The Head Master’s, 1885³). In 1921, Harris was a founder member of the Oriental Ceramics Society. Loan exhibition courtesy of the Harris family.
Beauties, Actors and The Tokaido Road: Japanese Ukiyo-E Prints From The OSRG Collection
Twenty-five 19th-century Japanese prints focusing on femininity, celebrated actors of the kabuki theatre and scenes from three editions of the series 53 Stations on the Tokaido Road have been newly researched and conserved for this, the first of two exhibitions including the gift of Harrow Chairman of Governors Sir Peter Allen.