Surveyor of the Queen's Works of Art
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The office of Surveyor of the King's/Queen's Works of Art in the Royal Collection Department of the Royal Household of the Sovereign of the United Kingdom is responsible for the care and maintenance of the royal collection of works of art owned by the Sovereign in an official capacity – as distinct from those owned privately and displayed at Sandringham House and Balmoral Castle and elsewhere.
The office dates from 1928, and has only been full-time since 1972. Sir Lionel Cust, Surveyor of the King's Pictures, had been responsible for works of art from 1901 to 1927. The last Surveyor, Rufus Bird, was appointed upon the retirement of Jonathan Marsden, CVO, who was in turn appointed upon the retirement of Sir Hugh Roberts on 20 April 2010. The Surveyor was also concurrently Director of the Royal Collection for which he chaired a management committee of professional curators and administrators.
The post of Surveyor of the Queen's Pictures is currently in abeyance.
List of Surveyors of the King's/Queen's Works of ArtEdit
- Rufus Bird 2017–2020
- Sir Jonathan Marsden 2010–2017
- Sir Hugh Roberts 1996–2010
- Sir Geoffrey de Bellaigue 1972–1996
- Sir Francis J.B. Watson 1963–1972
- Sir James Mann 1946–1962
- Lieutenant-Colonel Lord Gerald Wellesley 1936–1943
- Sir Cecil Harcourt-Smith 1928–1936
- Sir Lionel Cust 1901–1927 (also Pictures)
- "Management". The Royal Collection. Retrieved 2008-05-22.
- "The Surveyor of the Queen's Pictures is out of a job". Tatler. 23 December 2020. Retrieved 15 March 2021.
- London Gazette, p. 10197. 22 October 1920.
- Carter, Miranda (2002-02-11). "They're changing art at Buckingham Palace". London: Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-05-24.
It has gone from being run by one man and a dog – well, two part-time, unpaid surveyors of paintings and "works of art" – to being a self-financing charitable trust. It has a staff of 30 curators and restorers, including three surveyors, of whom Hugh Roberts, surveyor of the Queen's works of art, is also overall director, and has an obligation to open the collection to the public. A far cry from the early Fifties when the Queen's first surveyor of pictures, Anthony Blunt (apparently rather a good surveyor, apart, of course, from being a former Soviet spy) ...