Portraits

The University Heritage Collection holds around 90 portraits of imminent academics as well as prominent personalities from the city of Sheffield. Some of our most remarkable figures are Sir Harry Kroto, Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1996, Henry Clifton Sorby, pioneer of microscopical petrography amongst other notable achievements and Sir Frederick Mappin, Sheffield industrialist and benefactor, to name a few. The portraits are in oil, watercolour and sketches in pastel and pencil. 

Many of the portraits are on display in university buildings associated with the sitter or in Firth Hall where they are seen by staff, students and visitors.

ID 1696 Portrait of Professor Gillian Gehring by Frances Bell, 2015. © Frances Bell


Professor Gehring is Emeritus Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and remains extremely active within the University and beyond. She was the first, and to date only, female Professor of Physics at Sheffield, and only the second woman ever to hold a Professorship in a UK Physics Department.

ID 434 Portrait of Henry Clifton Sorby by Mary Lemon Waller, 1898


Henry Clifton Sorby LLD, FRS, JP 1826-1908; President of Firth College 1882-97; Vice President of University College Sheffield 1897-1905. 1898 University College presented Sorby with his portrait which could be this one. Sorby was Vice President of University College (Duke of Norfolk titular President).