Blood Royal: Picturing the Tudor Monarchy

24 July to 25 August
Monday to Friday (10.00 to 17.00)
Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BE

Blood Royal Online

Visit www.blood-royal-exhibition.com to explore a digital version of our exhibition.

Visit the Virtual Exhibition >

About the Exhibition

Explore our free summer exhibition, showcasing one of the most important collections of Tudor portraiture in the UK alongside materials from the Library and Accredited Museum collections. The exhibition has been supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

Inspiration for the exhibition was drawn from our collection of paintings, which includes the largest collection of English medieval and Tudor royal portraiture outside of the National Portrait Gallery and Royal Collection. Exploring the struggle for legitimacy and power during the Wars of the Roses, the advent of the Tudor dynasty, and ways in which each of the Tudor monarchs strove to demonstrate their authority and ability to rule the kingdom. Visitors will have a unique opportunity to see rarely displayed objects from our collections, including official royal documents from the reigns of Henry VIII, Mary I and Elizabeth I as well as archaeological finds relating to battles of the Wars of the Roses.

We have relied on the help of Fellows and volunteers to research our collections and share their knowledge with our public audiences. In particular, the we are grateful to the following Fellows for working with Burlington House staff this year to develop and produce the exhibition:

  • Mr Peter M Barber, OBE FSA, former Head of Maps at the British Library.
  • Dr John PD Cooper, FSA FRHistS, Senior Lecturer in Early Modern History at the University of York.
  • Prof Glenn J Richardson, FSA FRHistS, Professor of Early Modern History at St Mary’s University, London.

What's On

Free Gallery Talks (Tuesdays, 14.00–14.30)
Join us for a short gallery talk with one of our Tudor experts. Gallery talks are free, informal lectures delivered inside the exhibition space.
Free Museum Late (11 August, 18.00–21.00)
Experience the Burlington House Courtyard like never before, as all six societies open their doors to explore 'colour' across arts, heritage and science with experiments, lectures, tours and more. Enjoy our exhibition along with creative workshops, library tours, live medieval and Tudor music, and a cash bar.

Learn More >

Free Museum Late (25 August, 18.00–21.00)
Last chance to explore the exhibition – along with creative workshops, library tours, live medieval and Tudor music, and a cash bar.

Learn More >

Our creative workshops have been generously sponsored by the Worshipful Company of Feltmakers of London.

Visit the Virtual Exhibition >

Past Exhibitions

300 Years of Discovery at Burlington House

24 June, 15 July and 24 August (Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BE)

Visitors learned about the Society's origins, history and modern-day legacy for the continued conservation and study of the material past. With more than 300 years of history to share, and a world-renowned research Library and Accredited Museum collection, the Society continues to be an advocate for preserving the past and sharing knowledge of that past with future generations. These events offered a great opportunity for discovering what the Society's role in conservation, research and sharing heritage has been throughout its history, and what it aims to do in the future. We created an interactive timeline to showcase some of the key moments from the events. These events were generously supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Explore the Timeline >

Magna Carta Through the Ages

26 May to 31 July (Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BE)

As part of the celebrations to mark the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, the Society of Antiquaries developed a special commemorative exhibition. Visitors had the unique opportunity to see the Society's three copies of the charter – displayed together for the first time in this landmark exhibition! We also digitised our three copies of Magna Carta in a new learning resource.

This exhibition was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, the Headley Trust, the Ruddock Foundation for the Arts and the Magna Carta 800th Anniversary Committee.

Find out more about the exhibition >

Jane Morris Exhibition at Kelmscott Manor

July to October (Kelmscott Manor, Kelmscott, Lechlade GL7 3HJ)

To mark the centenary of the death Jane Morris we were delighted to have the opportunity to collaborate with the National Portrait Gallery to show a small photographic exhibition from their collections, including photographs taken by Emery Walker and Frederick Hollyer, of Jane together with portraits of her husband, daughters and close circle of friends at Kelmscott Manor. 

Portraying the Past: Paintings from the Society of Antiquaries of London

30 June to 1 August (Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BE)

An exhibition of the Society’s collection of paintings including portraits of eighteenth-century antiquaries and rare 15th- and 16th-century portraits of medieval and Tudor monarchs and rulers of early modern Europe. Throughout the month-long exhibition, we held short gallery talks for visitors. You can see all of the Society's paintings online via ArtUk.

Visit ArtUK >

Making History: Antiquaries in Britain 1707-2007

In celebration of its tercentenary in 2007, the Society held a spectacular exhibition telling the story of the formation of the Society and its achievements in discovering, recording, preserving and interpreting the past. After its debut in London the exhibition went on tour throughout the UK to the Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum, Potteries Museum & Art Gallery Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens, The Collection: Art & Archaeology in Lincolnshire. Then it continued on to America at the McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College and the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven.

You can check out the digital archive of the exhibition at makinghistory.sal.org.uk.

Visit the Making History >