The Old Speech Room was built around 1820 as a space where boys could learn the art of public speaking. In 1976, it was converted into a gallery for the School's distinguished collection of antiquities and fine art.
A professional curator manages the collections in accordance with best practice, as set out by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (Accreditation Standard). There is an ongoing programme of conservation and collections care, as well as a loans scheme. In the OSRG Arts Society, Harrovians can learn about object handling, conservation, documentation and collections care; help to research, design, curate and publicise exhibitions; and also enjoy regular visits to major art collections.
Recent Gifts and Acquisitions
- Egyptian, Greek, Etruscan and Roman antiquities.
- 19th-century English and European watercolours, prints and engravings.
- 18th-, 19th- and 20th-century oil paintings and sculpture.
- 19th-century Japanese prints and Chinese lacquerware.
- Manuscripts, rare Bibles and early printed books.
- Coins, medals and stamps.
- Photographs and natural history.
- Painting of the Harrow v Eton Cricket Match, artist unknown (c.1912).
- Sculptural group of Sir Winston Churchill and his grandson, Winston, by Willem Verbon (1953).
- Limited edition print, Linear Motif in One Movement, by Victor Pasmore (1974).
- Painting of Morning Chapel, by Gloria Jarvis (1950).
- Watercolour sketch of Churchill at Songs, by Gloria Jarvis (early 1950s).
- Monochrome print (on Somerset textured white) of Pan, by Alison Lambert (2015).
Two permanent displays on Lord Byron and Admiral Sir Edward Codrington opened in January 2016. As not all of the School's collections can be displayed at the same time, the Gallery runs a programme of termly temporary exhibitions. Recent titles include The Boy Airman – Hugh Mortimer Petty, Alexis Theodore Casdagli, and Harrow School and the Hill, 1615-2015. The future programme includes displays about Capability Brown, Japanese prints, and Gillray and Richard Brinsley Sheridan.