University of Texas, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

William Rothenstein:

An Inventory of His Collection at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator: Rothenstein, William, 1872-1945
Title: William Rothenstein Art Collection
Dates: 1896?-1944?
Abstract: The collection consists of thirty-four original works of art. The drawings, lithographs, and one oil painting are portraits of various important figures who were contemporaries of Rothenstein.
Extent: 2 boxes, 1 oversize folder, 1 framed painting (34 items)
Repository: Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Sketch

The English portrait artist Sir William Rothenstein was born January 29, 1872, near Bradford, Yorkshire. William Rothenstein was the son of Moritz Rothenstein, who came to England from Hanover in 1859, and the brother of Charles Lambert Rutherston, the collector, and Albert Daniel Rutherston, the artist. William Rothenstein studied for one year at the Slade School in London under Alphonse Legros, after which he spent four years in Paris, where he attended the Académie Julian. While in Paris, Rothenstein met many of the important artists of the time; he was particularly influenced by James Whistler, Edgar Degas, and Henri Fantin-Latour. After his return to England in 1893, Rothenstein was commissioned by John Lane to execute a series of portraits of Oxford figures, which was published as Oxford Characters: Twenty-four Lithographs (London: J. Lane, 1896). During his life he went on to create over 750 portrait drawings and 135 lithographs.

Rothenstein was a professor of civic art at the University of Sheffield, a principal of the Royal College of Art, a trustee of the Tate Gallery, and a member of the Royal Fine Art Commission. He served as an official war artist during World War I, and was an unofficial artist to the Royal Air Force during World War II. Rothenstein died in London on February 14, 1945.

Scope and Contents

The William Rothenstein Art Collection consists of thirty-four original works of art, dating between 1896 and circa 1944, by William Rothenstein. The works (drawings, lithographs, and one oil painting) are portraits of various important figures who were contemporaries of Rothenstein. Subjects include: Maurice Baring, Max Beerbohm, Laurence Binyon, Edward Carpenter, R. B. Cunninghame Graham, Albert Einstein, André Gide, Edmund Gosse, Harley Granville-Barker, Laurence Housman, W. H. Hudson, Henry James, Florence Kahn, Eric Kennington, Frederic Manning, Axel Munthe, George William Russell ("A. E."), George Bernard Shaw, James Stephens, Dame Ellen Terry, and W. B. Yeats. The works are arranged alphabetically by portrait subject.



Open for research. A minimum of twenty-four hours is required to pull art materials to the Reading Room.

Related Material

The Art Collection also has two caricatures by Max Beerbohm of William Rothenstein in its Max Beerbohm Collection. The Ransom Center has in its Manuscripts Collection material related to Rothenstein in the Sir William Rothenstein Collection and in the collection of John Lane Company Records. The Ransom Center's Photography Collection has Rothenstein material in its Literary File.

Administrative Information


Purchases (R16, R162, R830, R1009, R1901, R2109, R2391, R2767, R3011, R3992, R4562), and gift


Three items came from the Dobie Collection.

Processed by:

Alice Egan, 1997, and Helen Young, 2001


Ormond, R. L. Sir William Rothenstein. McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Art, ed. B. S. Myers. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1969.

Towndrow, K. R. Sir William Rothenstein. The Dictionary of National Biography: 1940-1950, ed. L. G. W. Legg & E. T. Williams. London: Oxford University Press, 1967.

William Rothenstein--Item List

1.1 M. Baring [Maurice Baring]. 1925.
1 drawing: red chalk, col., 19.5 x 27.5 cm.
Flat file Max Beerbohm at his Villa Rapallo. 1929.
1 drawing: pastel, col., 39.6 x 51.5 cm.
1.2 [Max Beerbohm; accompanied by sheet of letterpress]. Undated.
1 print: lithograph, 43.7 x 28 cm.
1.3 [Lady Florence Kahn Beerbohm]. 1916.
1 drawing: pencil, 34.9 x 27.7 cm.
1.4 [Laurence Binyon]. 1928?
1 print: lithograph, 30.5 x 28.4 cm.
1.5 [Edward Carpenter]. 1914.
1 drawing: pencil, 35.3 x 25.2 cm.
1.6 [R. B. Cunninghame Graham]. 1896?
1 print: lithograph, 38 x 28.5 cm.
1.7 [R. B. Cunninghame Graham]. 1896?
1 print: lithograph, 38 x 25.5 cm.
1.8 [Albert Einstein]. Undated.
1 drawing: pastel, col., 22.4 x 32.3 cm.
1.9 [André Gide]. 1918.
1 drawing: pastel, col., 36.5 x 30.8 cm.
1.10 [Sir Edmund Gosse]. Undated.
1 print: lithograph, 28.4 x 26.5 cm.
1.11 [Harley Granville-Barker]. 1920.
1 drawing: pastel, col., 27.7 x 21.5 cm.
1.12 [Laurence Housman]. 1898?
1 print: lithograph, 45.6 x 28.2 cm.
1.13 [Laurence Housman]. 1898?
1 print: lithograph, 45.4 x 28.5 cm.
1.14 [W. H. Hudson]. 1920.
1 drawing: pastel, col., 36.7 x 26.4 cm.
1.15 [W. H. Hudson]. 1944?
1 print: lithograph, 37.5 x 24.9 cm.
1.16 [Henry James]. Undated.
2 prints: lithograph, 37.7 x 25.8 cm.
1.17 [Eric Kennington]. 1918.
2 drawings: pastel, col., 46.2 x 33.8 cm. or smaller
1.18 Frederic Manning. 1921.
1 drawing: pastel, col., 39.3 x 29 cm.
1.19 [Axel Munthe]. Undated.
1 drawing: pastel, col., 39.5 x 28.8 cm.
2.2 [George William Russell ("A. E.")]. Undated.
1 drawing: pastel, col., 39.2 x 28.6 cm.
2.3 [George Bernard Shaw]. 1928.
1 drawing: pastel, col., 39.3 x 29.3 cm.
2.4 [George Bernard Shaw]. Undated.
1 print: lithograph, 29.7 x 20.8 cm.
2.5 [George Bernard Shaw]. Undated.
1 drawing: pen and ink, 16.9 x 12.2 cm.
[George Bernard Shaw]. Undated.
1 drawing: pen and ink, 19.9 x 13.3 cm.
2.1 [George Bernard Shaw, caricature]. Undated.
1 drawing: pen and ink, 13.9 x 9 cm.
Painting storage [George Bernard Shaw]. Undated.
1 painting: oil on panel, col., visible image 44.5 x 34 cm., in frame 61 x 49 cm.
2.6 First sketch for [illeg.] of James Stevens [i.e. Stephens]. Undated.
1 drawing: pencil, 28.7 x 28.3 cm.
2.7 James Stephens. Undated.
1 print: lithograph, 45.4 x 28.5 cm.
2.8 Miss Ellen Terry. Undated.
1 print: lithograph, 32.7 x 24.3 cm.
2.9 [William Butler Yeats]. 1897.
1 print: lithograph, 37.3 x 25.1 cm.
2.10 [William Butler Yeats]. Undated.
1 drawing: charcoal, 38.8 x 28.1 cm.
2.11 [William Butler Yeats]. Undated.
1 drawing: charcoal, pen and ink, 37.7 x 25.2 cm.
2.12 [William Butler Yeats]. Undated.
1 print: lithograph, 45.2 x 27.5 cm.
2.13 English Portraits: a series of lithographed drawings [covers] 1896.
Letterpress sheets, 43.4 x 28 cm. or smaller.