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Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art

The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art is a scholarly centre in London devoted to supporting original research into the history of British Art. It was founded in 1970 and endowed by a gift from Paul Mellon. Since 1996, it has been situated at 16 Bedford Square in a Grade I listed building. This building houses an outstanding library of 26,000 publications focused on British art and architecture, and over 25 collected archives which include papers of eminent art historians such as Ellis K Waterhouse, Oliver Millar, Brian Sewell[1] and Brinsley Ford. It also holds the records of its own institutional archives, including a growing oral history collection.[2] The centre compiled its own photographic archive from 1970-1996 and now also holds the Tate photographic archive.[3] All of these research collections are available to consult in the Centre's Public Study Room.

Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art
Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art logo.png
Parent institution
Yale University
DirectorMark Hallett
AffiliationsYale Center for British Art

As well as being incorporated as a British educational charity, the centre is part of Yale University and provides teaching in London for Yale students, through the successful Yale-in-London scheme. The centre supports a publication programme through Yale University Press and co-ordinates its activities with the sister institution, the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven.

The centre administers a comprehensive programme of grants and fellowships designed to support research into the history of British art, and hosts workshops, symposia, conferences and regular series of seminars.

The centre is a registered charity under English law[4] and is a member of the Association of Research Institutes in Art History.



The Paul Mellon Centre underwrites the production costs of publications concerned with the study of British art and architecture. The books are distributed by Yale University Press. In 2015 the Centre launched an online and open access journal, British Art Studies, that is copublished by the Yale Center for British Art.[5]

The centre published an online catalogue raisonné of the artist Richard Wilson[6] to coincide with the tercentenary of the artist's birth. In 2016, the centre published another catalogue raisonné of the artist Francis Towne.[7]

In March 2019, the Paul Mellon Centre's open access, peer-reviewed digital publication The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition: A Chronicle, 1769-2018 was nominated for a Webby Award[8] and won the People's Vote award in the art website category.[9]


Academic offices
Preceded by
Brian Allen 1993-2012,
Michael Kitson 1985–1995,
Christopher White 1973–1985,
Ellis K. Waterhouse 1970–1973
Mark Hallett, Director of Studies, Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art
2012 to present
Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art
The Public Study Room at The Paul Mellon Centre, 16 Bedofrd Square, London, 2015.


  1. ^ Paul Mellon Centre (4 May 2017). "The Paul Mellon Centre acquires Brian Sewell's Archive". Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  2. ^ "Collected Archives". Paul Mellon Centre. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  3. ^ "Photographic Archive Collection". Paul Mellon Centre. Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  4. ^ Charity Commission. THE PAUL MELLON CENTRE FOR STUDIES IN BRITISH ART, registered charity no. 313838.
  5. ^ "British Art Studies". Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and Yale Center for British Art. doi:10.17658/issn.2058-5462. ISSN 2058-5462.
  6. ^ Spencer Longhurst, Paul. "Richard Wilson Online". Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art.
  7. ^ "Publications: Francis Towne". 20 July 2016. Archived from the original on 17 July 2016.
  8. ^ "Art". Webby Awards. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  9. ^ "2019 Webby Nominees Include Tate, Augmented Reality Street Art, and More". Artsy. 2 April 2019. Retrieved 23 April 2019.

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