Sign on

Ruskin Collection

The Ruskin Collection, known officially as the Collection of the Guild of St George was created by John Ruskin (1819-1900), an influential Victorian writer.

Throughout the mid 1800s, Ruskin gained fame by writing about art, architecture, geology and landscapes.By the 1870s Ruskin's interest had turned to social policy, and he founded the Guild of St George with the aim of making England a better place for the everyday worker. With the help of his Guild, Ruskin put together this collection to display in Sheffield as a creative and educational tool for Sheffield’s metalworkers.

The collection is an eclectic mix that reflects Ruskin’s many interests. Early renaissance art, gothic architecture, Albrecht Dürer and JMW Turner’s engravings, mosaic decoration, Japanese cloisonné enameling, illustrations of birds, flowers, insects and landscapes all have their place. In addition, Ruskin added collections of geology and coins, and a library of illustrated books and medieval manuscripts. The Guild of St George has since added to the collection with drawings and paintings, late Victorian photographs and pieces from the Ruskin Linen Industry.

Most of the drawings and watercolours in the collection were carried out by Ruskin’s assistants, who carefully copied paintings by Italian painters of the late 1400s and, made detailed records of gothic architecture and byzantine mosaic using pencil, watercolour and plaster cast. Other pieces come via Ruskin’s own collections of nature drawing, engraving and books. Few watercolours are by Ruskin himself, but everything he included was given with a set purpose to educate and inspire.

The Ruskin Collection is still owned by the Guild of St George, but is maintained and displayed by Museums Sheffield.

You can search the collection online here, find out more using the menu on the left of this page, or visit the permanent exhibition at the Millennium Gallery - click here for details. Please note that whilst the permanent exhibition frequently rotates items from the Ruskin Collection, it is not possible to display all of the collection at any one time.

Show Objects
Name of ObjectAccession NumberCollectionDate Made/FoundSorted AscendingTimes Viewed
Mutilated Capital, West Front, Notre Dame-la-Grande, Poitiers, FranceCGSG00393 Ruskin Collection 18831679
Rue de la Montagne, St Aignon-Noyers, Senlis, FranceCGSG00394 Ruskin Collection 18811679
Rue des Bouchers, Amiens, FranceCGSG00395 Ruskin Collection 18811679
Church of St Aignan, Senlis, FranceCGSG00396 Ruskin Collection 18811679
North Door, San Fermo, Verona, ItalyCGSG00397 Ruskin Collection 18841679
Ponte Pietra, Verona, ItalyCGSG00398 Ruskin Collection 18841679
Piazza delle Erbe, Verona, ItalyCGSG00402 Ruskin Collection 18841679
North Door, Notre Dame du Puy, FranceCGSG00403 Ruskin Collection 18841679
Capital in Choir, Cathedral of Notre Dame, Senlis, FranceCGSG00406 Ruskin Collection 18811679
Sculpture from the South West Portal, St Lazare, Avallon, FranceCGSG00409 Ruskin Collection 18821679
gPowered byeMuseum

Museums Sheffield

Trying something new can be a little bit scary, but what a great feeling when you make the connection. We're trying new things all the time and we want you to try them too, so come with us and we'll help connect you with art, nature, history, ideas - and each other.

Jump in. Discover something new.

Explore our site