Becky Smith

Becky Smith

Department of Art History, Curating and Visual Studies
Doctoral researcher

Contact details

PhD Title: Sound and sight: the implied soundscapes of visual culture c.1760 - c.1830
Supervisor: Dr Kate Nichols and Dr Matthew Ward
PhD History of Art


    • BA (Hons) Peterhouse, University of Cambridge
  •     MPhil Peterhouse, University of Cambridge


During my time studying at Peterhouse, I worked with Kettle's Yard and the Fitzwilliam Museum, developing tours, discussing exhibitions and was the student member for the Kettle's Yard Committee. While completing my MPhil, I worked as the Curatorial Intern at Dulwich Picture Gallery, writing labels, proposing exhibitions and assisting with gallery rehangs. After I completed my MPhil, I took up the position of the Collections Assistant at the Watts Gallery - Artists' Village in Guildford, working on the full gallery rehang at the historic Limnerslease, and installing the Pre-Raphaelite Treasures exhibition with the Ashmolean. Most recently I worked at the National Museum Edinburgh as an Assistant Registrar, managing long term loans and co-leading on the deinstall of the Anatomy exhibition.


How do artists depict sound in mute images, and how do viewers access this implied audible aspect of artworks? How does implied sound impact the viewers understanding of art, in relation to, for example, gender, class, race and the environment? Sound studies is a field of considerable growth in the humanities, yet its questions and methods have not been applied to the study of visual culture. With my project, I will foster a multi-sensory way of looking by considering implied sound in landscape and genre scenes of c.1760–c.1830, including the suggested soundscapes of cities like Birmingham, sublime and pastoral landscapes, and the British colonies in India.

Other activities

  • John Alcock Scholar in History of Art 2019–21
  • Michael Camille Prize in History of Art 2019–21
  • Haywood Scholar 2023