The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

Erika Ingham

Erika Ingham

Assistant Curator (Reference Collection)

Job description

I work with the Gallery’s reference collection of prints and drawings, researching and cataloguing works on paper from all periods but in particular 17th century engravings. I curate displays, which have included John Kay etchings, 20th century printmakers, Cecil Beaton drawings and Theatrical prints, and prepare archive works for other gallery displays and for loans. Much of my time is devoted to researching enquiries from members of the public and other institutions on any aspect of British portraiture: researching portraits in the enquirers’ own possession, trying to locate portraits of particular sitters or providing information about works in the Gallery’s collection.


I joined the Gallery in 2000 as a photographs cataloguer, moving to the Archive in 2001.  Prior to this I helped to run The Bloomsbury Workshop, a gallery specialising in the Bloomsbury Group.  My studies were in the History of Art and Design, specialising in the history of dress, and MA Heritage Studies.

Research interests

My theses were on Elizabethan Portraiture as Status Symbol, investigating the changing concept of nobility through 16th century treatises and how this was reflected in portraits, and Colour in Tudor Secular Buildings, an investigation into its conservation, restoration, recreation and presentation.  I continue to be interested in the history of dress, and how costume is depicted in portraits.

Recent Publications

I have worked as a researcher on various books including Mid-Georgian Portraits (John Ingamells, 2004), Julia Margaret Cameron: the Complete Photographs (Julian Cox and Colin Ford, 2003) and The Bloomsbury Artists: Prints and Book Design (Tony Bradshaw, 1999). I also wrote entries for the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.