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Fairfax Murray Papers

Date range: 1849-1919.

Letters and papers of Charles Fairfax Murray (1849-1919), Pre-Raphaelite painter and art collector.

Fairfax Murray worked as a copyist for John Ruskin and was assistant to Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Edward Burne-Jones. He later worked as a buying agent for the National Gallery and a consultant for Messrs Agnew, but is best known as a collector of art.

The collection numbers over 1,500 items.

There are important groupings of material relating to Sir Edward Burne-Jones, including:

  • letters from his wife Georgiana and photographs of the Burne-Jones and Morris children
  • letters and photographs relating to Charles Augustus Howell, who was for many years Ruskin's secretary and later close companion of Rossetti, Whistler and Swinburne
  • letters and papers of the sculptors and brothers William, Henry and Charles Behnes

In addition there are over 700 letters to Fairfax Murray from a wide range of correspondents and 200 letters exchanged between other correspondents.

These include many of the leading figures of the contemporary art world, such as:

  • Sir Charles Lock Eastlake
  • George Cruikshank
  • Myles Birket Foster
  • William Holman Hunt
  • Frederic Lord Leighton
  • William Morris
  • Dante Gabriel Rossetti
  • John Ruskin
  • Frederick Sandys

See also

Finding aids

  • Catalogue available online via ELGAR.
  • Recorded in published handlist of English Manuscripts (English MSS 1278-1283).

Alternative form

Published microfilm: John Ruskin, the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, and Arts and Crafts Movement: the Ruskin, Holman Hunt, Fairfax Murray, Spielmann and Related Collections from the John Rylands University Library, Manchester (Woodbridge: Research Publications, 1990).


The John Rylands Library

Using the reading rooms in the John Rylands Library