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Bernard Partridge Drawings Collection

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This material is held at V&A Department of Theatre and Performance
Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/227
Dates of Creation 1861-1905
Name of Creator Unknown
Language of Material English
Physical Description 1 box (25 items)

Scope and Content

This collection includes drawings of Henry Irving in some of his most famous roles, including Shylock, Hamlet, Mephistopheles, Dubosc and Lear.

Administrative / Biographical History

Bernard Partridge (1861-1945) was a painter and illustrator who became the principal cartoonist of Punch magazine. He acted at the Lyceum in his youth, using the name Bernard Gould. He made many drawings of Henry Irving, some which appeared in the theatre's souvenir programmes. His work has provided both a record of costumes and scenery and of the dramatic effect of Irving's performances.

Henry Irving (1838-1905) actor-manager had one of his greatest successes with Faust, a version of Goethe's play by W.G.Wills. The spectacular production opened at the Lyceum Theatre on 19 December 1885 with Irving as Mephistopheles, and proved enormously popular with the public.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is available for consultation in the V&A Department of Theatre & Performance's Reading Room, which is located at Blythe House, 23 Blythe Rd, Olympia, London, W14 0QX. The Reading Room is open Tuesday to Friday between 10.15 am and 4.30 pm, access to it is by appointment only. To request an appointment please email tmenquiries@vam.ac.uk or telephone 020 7942 2698.

Access to some of these files may be restricted. These are identified at file level.

Conditions Governing Use

Archive material may not be photocopied. Arrangements can be made to photograph material in the search room using non-flash photography.

Acquisition Information

Given by the British Theatre Museum Association.


No accruals expected.

Other Finding Aid

Items have been given museum numbers which range from S.320-2011 to S.345-2011. Individual item records may be found on http://collections.vam.ac.uk/

Related Material

See also the core collections of the V&A Theatre and Performance Department. Material relating to Henry Irving in general may be found in several collections, including Sir Henry Irving Archive THM/37, the biographical, productions, company and photographs files.

Please ask for details.


Pencil drawing
Charcoal drawing
Actors -- Portraits
Actors in Art

Personal Names

Irving, Henry. Sir ( 1838-1905)
Partridge, Bernard. Sir ( 1861-1945)

Cataloguing Info

Title Bernard Partridge Drawings Collection
Creation Created by Fabiana Barticioti using the cheshire for archives ead creation tool 2011-05-18