Michael Clegg

Michael Clegg

Department of Art History, Curating and Visual Studies
Doctoral researcher
Teaching Assistant

Contact details

Address
The Barber Institute
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT
UK

PhD Title: Artists’ Prints in Post-War Britain
Supervisors: Dr Greg Salter, Professor Matthew Rampley

Qualifications

  • BA (Cambs)
  • MA (Birkbeck, Uni of London)

Biography

I completed an MA in the History of Art at Birkbeck, University of London.  My first degree was in English from Cambridge, and in the interim I worked in policy and research in the voluntary sector and (in relation to housing) in Government.  I have also studied cognitive science and cognitive psychology at postgraduate level.

Teaching

  • Postgraduate Teaching Assistant (AHVCS, Debates and Methods)

Research

Whilst scholarship on post-war British art has seen significant expansion, prints and printmaking remain overlooked within the literature. At the same time, studies of British printmaking give limited attention to the period, which is characterised as something of a creative trough. Through this thesis I explore the proposition that prints and printmaking should not be seen simply as an adjunct to other art forms, considered within the history of post-war British art solely for completeness; rather specific features of printmaking, as it was understood within the wider ecology of visual art at that moment, mean that its study illuminates issues in the history, cultural history and art history of the period.

My inquiry considers the role played by prints in changing ideas about democratising access to art during the 1945 Attlee Government and the subsequent Conservative ascendancy. I am exploring how print images and ideas of democratisation can be related to changing understandings of art, modernity, national culture and national identity and the emergence of consumerism. My work gives particular attention to print series produced for the Festival of Britain in 1951 and the Coronation in 1953, and to the activities of the Miller’s Press in the late 1940s, the Lyons Lithographs, and the emergence of the St George’s press in the late 1950s, as a precursor (but also a contrast) to the ‘print boom’ of the next decade.

Research interests:

  • Post-war British Art
  • Prints and printmaking
  • Modern British Art
  • Art and the Middlebrow
  • The art support network
  • Critical cultures in twentieth-century Britain

Other activities

  • Member of Association for Art History
  • Member of  Paul Mellon Centre Doctoral Research Network

Conference papers:

  • (Forthcoming) ‘Contested Landscape, Everyday Art and Cultural Politics in Post-War Britain’, Association for Art History Annual Conference, April 2019
  • (Forthcoming) “‘Intended for every home’: the Everyman Prints and the intermodern”, Modernism in the Home, University of Birmingham, July 2019.

Publications