The Courtauld, now located in Somerset House is an independent college of the University of London. It is a globally renowned centre for the teaching and research in the history of art and the practice of conservation. It also cares for one of the greatest art collections in the UK, particularly famous for its Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art. It was founded in 1932 by textile industrialist and art collector, Samuel Courtauld (1876-1947), philanthropist and patron of the arts, Lord Lee of Fareham (1868-1947) and art historian, Sir Robert Witt (1872-1952).
It was originally based at Home House, the Robert Adam-designed townhouse in Portman Square, London and the paintings, enhanced by further bequests of old masters, notably that of Count Seilern (1901-1978), known as the Princes Gate Collection as it was originally donated anonymously, and over 25,000 prints and drawings of all periods, were later housed at Woburn Square. The institute and gallery moved to the north side of Somerset House in 1989.