Art Collection

The Baring Archive also manages a group of historical portraits and other pictures relating to Barings and the city of London.

The historical portraits are a group of eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth century portraits of individuals associated with Barings. The collection illustrates the development of English portraiture over 150 years from the end of the eighteenth century.

Many of the portraits were commissioned from leading artists of the day such as Benjamin West, Sir Thomas Lawrence, the most distinguished portrait painter in Regency England, John Linnell and Ambrose McEvoy. These pictures were largely commissioned privately by the Baring family but later passed into the firm's ownership.

A particular highlight of the collection is a portrait by the leading American artist Gilbert Stuart. It is of Senator William Bingham, an American client of Barings whose two daughters married two of the sons of the firm’s founder.

Another major part of the historical art collection is a group of watercolours of Mexico drawn by George Henry White in 1862 and 1863. White - a senior clerk of Barings - was then in Mexico dealing with matters outstanding between the Mexican government and its bondholders in London. As he moved between Veracruz, Orizaba, Puebla and Mexico City, White recorded the landscape of the country in a portfolio of watercolours. This unique visual record, made at a critical time in the history of Mexico, is complemented by the long and detailed letters written by White in Mexico to Barings in London. The letters also survive in The Baring Archive.

Further illustrating the history of the firm are prints and drawings of the city of London in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, illustrations of ships owned by the firm and objects given or collected by the firm.

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