The College Collections’ programme of special exhibitions is hosted in the Verey Gallery and the Tower Gallery. Both exhibition spaces are open to the students and staff of Eton College as well as the wider community, including schools and the general public. If you would like to view a special exhibition, please contact us at collections@etoncollege.org.uk or 01753 370590.

Special Sunday openings:

In addition, Watercolours from the Eton College Collections will be open to the public on Sunday afternoons between 6th January and 24th February 2019 between 2:30-5pm. Enter via the Museum of Eton Life (follow signs from the High Street along Baldwin’s Shore); entry to the special exhibition every 15 minutes. No booking necessary. 

Watercolours from the Eton College Collections

The latest exhibition in the Verey Gallery at Eton is a display of some of the most significant 18th- and 19th-century watercolours from the Fine & Decorative Art collection. This is a further opportunity to view the select group of watercolours briefly shown together at the Works on Paper Fair in London, in February 2017. They represent many of the most significant British artists of the golden age of watercolour painting, including Thomas Girtin, JMW Turner, John Ruskin and Paul Sandby.

Eton College has been associated with topographical artists and watercolourists since the final decades of the 18th century. Views of the college, or of Windsor Castle from the Eton side of the river, were favourite subjects for artists, while Alexander Cozens (1717–1786) became the first to offer drawing lessons to boys after he rented rooms on the High Street in Eton. As the college’s Drawing Schools developed, so too did the collection of Fine & Decorative Art, which now includes over 1,500 drawings and watercolours; the majority donated by generous Old Etonian collectors.















William Payne(1760 - 1830) 
Near Lulworth Cove, Dorset
pen & ink and watercolour

Watercolours Exhibition, Verey Gallery, 24 November - 24 February 2019.

To book a visit outside of Sunday opening times, contact us at collections@etoncollege.org.uk or 01753 370590

Treasures from the Nicholas Kessler Collection

Nicholas Kessler (1937-2018) was Eton’s foremost library benefactor of the late twentieth century. He gave his old school remarkable books, prints and photographs, a few of which came from his own collection, but the majority of which he bought specially for the library. His primary interests lay in books relating to China and Russia, editions of James Joyce, particularly Ulysses, and fine bindings, and he also helped develop College Library’s collections of 19th-century literature by generous financial gifts. This exhibition brings together highlights from the Kessler Collection, including:

  • James Joyce, Ulysses, New York: Limited Editions Clun, 1935. Illustrated with etchings and lithographic drawings and signed by Henri Matisse, in a designer binding by Jean de Gonet commissioned by Nicholas Kessler
  • Michel Boym, Flora Sinensis, Vienna; Michael Rictius, 1656
  • Coronation Album of Empress Elizabeth, St Petersburg: Imperial Academy of Sciences, 1744.

Michel Boym, Flora Sinensis, Vienna; Michael Rictius, 1656.

The Kessler exhibition, College Library Tower Gallery, is open by appointment, 24 November 2018 – 28 March 2019. To book a visit, contact us at collections@etoncollege.org.uk or 01753 370590 

Permanent Collection:

Seven Halts on the Somme by Hughie O’Donoghue, RA - Millington Drake Room

Victorian Stained Glass by Thomas Willement -  Austen Leigh Corridor  

Currently on display adjacent to School Hall most Sunday afternoons from 23d September 2018 to 14th April 2019, 2:30 – 5pm.

Closed 24th March

For further information see www.etoncollege.com/CollectionsAccess

Read about previous exhibitions.