James Stourton

James Stourton

James Stourton read History of Art at Cambridge and joined Sotheby’s in 1979. He stepped down from his position as UK Chairman in 2012. He writes regularly for The Times; Daily Telegraph; Independent; Spectator; Apollo; The Art Newspaper; and was Consultant to The Economist art collecting supplement. He is a frequent lecturer to Cambridge University History of Art Faculty; Sotheby’s Institute of Education; The Georgian Group and The Art Fund. He is on the Panel of the Heritage Memorial Fund, he is a senior fellow of the Institute of Historical Research, and sits on The Acceptance in Lieu Panel. James was also a contributor on Helen Rosslyn’s recent programme ‘Bought with Love: The Secret History of British Art Collections’ which aired earlier this year on BBC Four.

His book GREAT HOUSES OF LONDON, with photographs by Fritz von der Schulenburg, was published by Frances Lincoln in October 2012.

He has written the authorised biography of Kenneth Clark, published in 2016 by HarperCollins in the UK and Knopf in the US.

He is also the author of BRITISH EMBASSIES, with photographs by Luke White, published by Frances Lincoln in 2017.


  • THE DICTIONARY OF ART (Macmillan) contributor, 1996
  • GREAT SMALLER MUSEUMS OF EUROPE (2003). Translated into four languages, Danish, Chinese, French and Japanese
  • GREAT COLLECTORS OF OUR TIME: Art Collecting Since 1945 (October 2007), Apollo Book of the Year 2007
  • ‘Robert, 9th Lord Petre’ in English Catholic Heroes (Sept 2008)
  • Sponsor and publisher of The Lumley Inventory and Pedigree, Edited Mark Evans, 2010 for the Roxburghe Club
  • THE BRITISH AS COLLECTORS:A History of British Art Collecting from the Tudors Until the Present, published by Scala in June 2012
  • THE GREAT HOUSES OF LONDON, with photographs by Fritz von der Schulenburg, published by Frances Lincoln in October 2012