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Papers of Robert Henry Hobart Cust



Papers of Robert Henry Hobart Cust



Archive reference number



The papers include correspondence such as letters, telegrams and postcards. There are also a large number of handwritten notes, notebooks and typed draft material. The collection features a small number of glass slides and photographs.
The correspondence predominantly concerns art history research in general or research specifically focused on Giovanni Antonio Bazzi (Sodoma), who was the subject of one of Robert Cust's publications. Bazzi, who was known as Sodoma, was the most significant Sienese painter of the 16th century, painting frescoes, altarpieces and panel paintings for private collectors.
There is also a substantial amount of personal correspondence. The main correspondents include the Richter family (principally Louise M. Richter), who were prominent art historians of the period. Other significant correspondents are Utta Von Weeks, Miss M. Mansfield (research partner), Ubaldo Bensa, the Niccoli family (including Walter, Alfred and Gertrude) and art historian Gustavo Frizzoni, author of 'G. A. Bazzi detto Il Sodoma'.

A large part of this collection relates to Cust's work entitled 'Giovanni Antonio Bazzi (Sodoma),' which was published in 1906. Most of the material dates from the period 1889-1904 but there are indications within the papers that the interest and research in Sodoma continued after the work was completed. Most of the material in this series consists of loose notes, made in various galleries, archives and museums in Europe, as well as extracts from works about Sodoma and his contemporaries. There are several files of draft material for the publication which are heavily annotated with Robert Cust's own additions or changes.

The photographs and glass slides in the Papers of Robert Cust are separated into subject area or geographical area. They mostly appear to have been taken with the aim of inclusion in the publication about Sodoma.

This collection features a small number of works and publications produced by Cust for projects not connected with his research into Sodoma. These papers include an article on Botticelli and a notebook detailing engagements and addresses.

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Administrative history

Robert Henry Hobart Cust was born 13 May 1861 and died 19 July 1940.
He studied at Eton School 1879 - 1882, and then gained a BA at Trinity College Cambridge (1883/4) followed by an MA at Magdalen College Oxford (1886/7). He travelled widely in Europe conducting research for publications from 1889 to 1911. Cust lived in Hampstead, NW3 from 1911 until his death in 1940.

During his career as an art historian Cust produced the following works:

Pavement Masters of Siena, 1901
Giovanni Antonio Bazzi (Sodoma), 1906
Botticelli, 1906
Leonardo da Vinci, 1907
Villorio Carpaccio, His Life and Works (translation), 1907
Botticelli (Great Masters Series), 1908
The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini (translation), 1910
Benvenuto Cellini, 1912
The Albinia Book, 1929 (editor).

Robert Cust was a member of the Burlington Fine Arts Club and wrote articles for the Burlington Magazine. In England Robert Cust was a Councillor for the Hampstead Borough Council (Belsize Ward), 1911 - 1935; during the same period he was a School Manager at various schools, and a JP for the County of London in 1922. From 1935 onwards he was also an Alderman.

Custodial history

The collection was presented to the Archive by Peregrine Cust (1899-1978), the 6th Baron Brownlow, who was Cust's first cousin once removed, c 1956

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