Prints and drawings
Our collection includes many eighteenth- and nineteenth- century prints, mainly portraits of Johnson's contemporaries. The collection also includes a set of nineteenth-century topographical watercolours of the City of London and Dr Johnson’s House, and a fine chalk and pencil drawing of Johnson's great friend, Mrs Piozzi (formerly Mrs Thrale).
The House has a small collection of paintings, which include portraits of Johnson and his contemporaries as well as scenes from his life. Highlights include a rare surviving portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds' sister, Frances, a portrait of a black man (possibly that of Francis Barber, Johnson's manservant) by James Northcote and a scene showing Johnson meeting the actress Sarah Siddons, by William Powell Frith.
The House's archives are currently being catalogued.
Dr Johnson's House holds a collection of 40 manuscripts, many of which are in Johnson's hand. Further details of these manuscripts will be included on our new library catalogue, launching in Summer 2012.
The House's collection also includes porcelain from the services of Mrs Thrale, James Boswell and Sir Joshua Reynolds; Georgian furniture; Johnson's walking stick, letter case and portrait medallion, as well as Johnsoniana and other ephemera.