The year 2020 is the 200th anniversary of the births of two major 19th century names: Florence Nightingale and Ludwig van Beethoven.
The year also marks the 500th anniversary of the death of Renaissance master Raphael and the 150th anniversary of the death of Charles Dickens. The latter will be a theme for Firsts, the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association fair in June.
More recently, 2020 marks the 15th year since the launch of online auction marketplace thesaleroom.com (and we’ll also be eagerly anticipating 2021 which is when ATG turns 50).
Below is a list of key anniversaries in 2020 that may prompt a spike in interest and perhaps buying activity in art, antiques and historical documents.
100th anniversary of the birth of science-fiction writer Isaac Asimov
100th anniversary of prohibition coming into effect in the US
200th anniversary of the birth of author Anne Bronte
200th anniversary of the birth of American Civil War general William Tecumseh Sherman
75th anniversary of the Battle of Iwo Jima during the Second World War
200th anniversary of the birth of John Tenniel, known for his illustrations of Alice in Wonderland
75th anniversary of the death of diary writer Anne Frank in Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. The specific date is uncertain but is thought to be in March 1945
500th anniversary of the death of Italian artist Raphael
250th anniversary of the birth of poet William Wordsworth
150th anniversary of the birth of Russian revolutionary leader Lenin
75th anniversary of VE Day (Victory in Europe) during the Second World War
200th anniversary of the launch of Charles Darwin’s ship HMS Beagle
200th anniversary of the birth of nurse Florence Nightingale
150th anniversary of the death of author Charles Dickens
75th anniversary of VJ Day when Japan announced its unconditional surrender, ending the Second World War in the Pacific
75th anniversary of the official ending of the Second World War with the formal signing of the surrender document by the Japanese on USS Missouri
150th anniversary of the start of the Siege of Paris during the Franco-Prussian War
50th anniversary of the death of French President Charles de Gaulle
400th anniversary of the Mayflower Pilgrims arriving at Cape Cod
100th anniversary of Bloody Sunday in Dublin during the Irish War of Independence
500th anniversary of Ferdinand Magellan reaching the Pacific Ocean through the Strait of Magellan (as it became known) and becoming the first European to sail from the Atlantic to the Pacific
250th anniversary of the birth of composer Ludwig van Beethoven
300th anniversary of the birth of Charles Edward Stuart, the Young Pretender also known as Bonnie Prince Charlie