Research in Art History, Curating and Visual Studies

All members of staff within the Department are active researchers, publishing regularly with leading national and international journals and publishers.

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Our research feeds directly into our undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, and we also foster a spirit of research-based enquiry amongst our students.In the most recent REF 2014 exercise 80% of our research was ranked as being world-leading or internationally excellent ranking us as one of the top departments of History of Art in the country.

We have a broad array of research interests but the principal current areas of research are:

  • Illuminated manuscripts
  • The visual, devotional and material cultures of Italy and Northern Europe in the late medieval and early modern periods
  • Renaissance art and architecture in Italy
  • The visual cultures of revolutionary France
  • Art, design and visual culture in 19th and 20th century France
  • Swiss art of the late 18th century
  • German and Central European art, design and visual culture from the mid-19th Century to the present
  • Modern and contemporary art and exhibition cultures in Europe
  • Iconoclasm
  • Feminist approaches to art history
  • Art criticism and the historiography of art

Collaboration with other institutions is an important part of our research ethos. Our current major collaborative project is the £380,000 Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded Suburban Birmingham: spaces and places, 1880-1960 in collaboration with Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and Birmingham Central Library Archives and Heritage Service, but we have worked on joint projects with a wide variety of partners including the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Austrian Monument Protection Service, the Open Society Archives, Budapest, the Hungarian National Gallery, the National Gallery of Slovenia, the Ikon Gallery, and the Ben Uri Gallery.

The Department also publishes the Journal of Art Historiography, an internationally peer-reviewed online journal. See related publications and archives.

Individual interests are listed in the staff profiles.