Permananent Collection

Picture Library


Permanent Collection

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).

Oil paintings

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.


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.

Hester Thrale's teapotMeissen teapot belonging to Hester Piozzi, nee Thrale.

Drawing of Hester Piozzi, nee ThraleMrs Piozzi (detail), by J Jackson, 1810
LondonShh. Small Historic Houses Link to London Shh website Accredited Museum