The Quest Continues


Sir Galahad (Detail) by George Frederic Watts in the Harvard Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts (LEO Design)


I have long wanted to visit the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard—especially once I learned that it possessed George Frederic Watts's painting of Sir Galahad, created between 1860 and 1862.  (To see the full-length painting, click here).  I had long assumed that the picture was in England.  After years of pre-internet searching, I finally learned that it was right here in America, at Harvard.

Watts, a favorite of mine, used his then wife, the famed English actress Ellen Terry, as his model for the romantic youth.  The painting was wildly popular and for several decades it was reproduced (in sepia tones and, later, in color) as museum art prints.  Many a boy's bedroom would have been decorated with this print—considered a heroic role model for any young boy.  Over the years, I have sold many of these antique prints, produced in the 1890's through the 1910's—and originally (probably) sold in the art museum gift shops where the picture was shown.

For several years, the Fogg Art Museum was closed for renovation, preventing my visit.  On this trip to Boston, therefore, I was determined to finally see my Sir Galahad.  So out to Cambridge I went.  Alas, I discovered that the picture is (inexplicably) in-storage, out-of-view.  Considering how popular this painting is (not to mention how beautiful), I find it astonishing that the museum would hide it.  (The terms of the painting's acquisition in 1943 prevent it from being loaned, either.)  Perhaps the academics who govern the art world have decided that such a picture no longer has value in today's world.


Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well!  Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (

We also can be found in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, at The Antique Center of Strabane (

Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only).  917-446-4248