The Griffith Institute
University of Oxford
Post-graduate volunteers working on an Archive project
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Portrait of Howard Carter

Name of the object: Portrait of Howard Carter.

Date: 1924.

Object information: painted by William Carter, oil on canvas with gilded wood frame, 139 by 111 cm.

Archive number: Carter MSS viii.2.

Information link:

Image link:

Background information: A large framed oil painting of Howard Carter. It was painted by his older brother William who was a professional portrait artist. Signed and dated by William, the painting was probably commissioned shortly after the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun and completed in 1924. Carter lived in London and this painting was displayed in his home. This painting was donated to the Griffith Institute by Carter’s favourite niece, Phyllis Walker in 1959 and is displayed in the Archive of the Griffith Institute in Oxford.


Object activities – describe the painting using Visual Thinking Strategies (, discuss what impression of Howard Carter the painting gives to the viewer, measure out the size of the painting to see how big it is in real life.

Extension activities – look at examples of other portraits, create a new portrait of Howard Carter (decide what you want people to think about Howard Carter and decide what pose and background would be best for this), draw a portrait of somebody you know (decide how the portrait will show what they look like and what they are like as a person).

Related objects:

Portrait of the Egyptologist Sir Alan Gardiner with a papyrus

Portrait, The Ambassadors by Hans Holbein the Younger, The National Portrait Gallery