Fitzwilliam Museum, building erected to house the art collection and library bequeathed in 1816 to the Univ. of Cambridge by Richard, 7th Viscount Fitzwilliam. Both the collection and the Founder's Building, which opened to the public in 1848, have been enlarged by later bequests, notably that of Charles Brinsley Marlay in 1912. The collection, which is particularly strong in Italian, Spanish, Dutch, and English paintings and in 17th-century prints, especially of the Dutch school, also includes antiquities, medieval manuscripts, ancient coins, porcelains, furniture, and armor. The music collection, which includes autograph scores by Purcell, Handel, and other composers, is one of the best in England.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.