First Keeper of the Fine Art Department, Ashmolean Museum, 1909-1931. Bell's father was Robert Courtenay Bell (1816-1896), a banker, and mother Clara Poynter (Bell) ( 1834-1927), whose brother was Edward John Poynter, a director of the National Gallery. He was distantly related on his mother's side to Edward Burne-Jones and the writer Rudyard Kipling. Poynter, Bell's uncle, married Agnes Macdonald, a sister of Burne-Jones's wife; she was in turn aunt of Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936). Bell was educated privately.