Dr Michaela Giebelhausen

Dr Michaela Giebelhausen

Department of Art History, Curating and Visual Studies
Assistant Professor of Art History and Curatorial Practice

My research interests sit in several areas: museum architecture and histories; exhibition histories; Victorian art; eighteenth and nineteenth-centuries art and architecture; history of photography.

My research has been supported by The Michael-Wills Scholarship Fund (University of Oxford), The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), The British Academy, The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, The Yale Center for British Art, and The Getty Research Institute.


  • MA Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe Universität, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
  • DPhil/PhD University of Oxford, United Kingdom


I joined the Department of Art History, Curating and Visual Studies in 2023 as Assistant Professor of Contemporary and Global Art and Curatorial Practice. I have previously taught at the Courtauld Institute of Art; was Course Leader of BA Culture, Criticism and Curating at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London (2014-2020); Senior Lecturer at the Department of Philosophy and History of Art at the University of Essex; and Director of the Centre of Curatorial Studies at the University of Essex (1994-2014). I studied Art History, Modern History and English Literature at the Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe University in Frankfurt before coming to the UK to study for my DPhil/PhD at the University of Oxford, which formed the basis for my monograph Painting the Bible: Representation and Belief in Mid-Victorian Britain (Ashgate 2006).


LI/Year 2

  • Inside the Gallery


  • Curatorial Practices B
  • Exhibition Cultures
  • Made in Birmingham: Art and Urban Space

I also contribute to the module

  • Postgraduate Research Training and Methods A

Postgraduate supervision

Museum Histories, Museum Architecture, Exhibition Histories, Curatorial Practice, Victorian Art, Pre-Raphaelites, Eighteenth and Nineteenth-Century British Art and Architecture


My research interests sit in several areas: museum architecture and histories; exhibition histories; Victorian art; eighteenth and nineteenth-centuries art and architecture; history of photography.

I am interested in museums as sites for the construction of cultural narratives that are being formed through the architecture of the museum and the organisation of the displays. I am currently working on a monograph on museums and temporality. Previous publications include the edited collection, The Architecture of the Museum: Symbolic Structures, Urban Contexts (MUP 2003), essays in Macdonald (ed.), A Companion to Museum Studies (Blackwell Publishing, 2006) and Marstine (ed.), New Museum Theory and Practice: An Introduction (Blackwell Publishing, 2005).

My research on exhibition histories includes the recent Reconstructing Exhibitions in Art Institutions (co-edited with N. Adamou, Routledge 2023). This interdisciplinary project has a global reach and considers the theme of exhibitions as political resistance as well as cultural critique from global perspectives. My work on exhibition histories also includes the essay, ‘Footholds in the ‘northern wilderness’: Exhibiting Scandinavian and Nordic Art, 1912-2023’ (Mercatorfonts 2024), which considers the writing in and out of Nordic art from Modernism’s established narratives.

In 2019, I co-curated with Dr Alison Green (UAL) the immersive video installation Madame B by Mieke Bal and Michelle Williams Gamaker at the Lethaby Gallery at Central Saint Martins. The artwork explores the link between capitalism and romance through a reworking of Flaubert’s novel Madame Bovary (1857).

I have published widely on the art of the Pre-Raphaelites, including my monograph Painting the Bible: Representation and Belief in mid-Victorian Britain, which considered the reframing of religious subject matter for the art market and the formation of the PRB as a Victorian avant-garde movement as well as analysing how a new image of Christ could be constructed deemed fit for the Victorian age. Further publications include – Writing the Pre-Raphaelites: Text, Context, Subtext (co-edited with Tim Barringer, Ashgate 2009) and the essay 'The religious and intellectual background', in Prettejohn (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to the Pre-Raphaelites (CUP 2012).

Current research projects include the art of the eighteenth-century painter George Stubbs and notions of naturalism as artifice at the core of Georgian culture and cultural politics.


Recent publications


Adamou, N & Giebelhausen, M (eds) 2023, Reconstructing Exhibitions in Art Institutions. Routledge Research in Art Museums and Exhibitions, 1st edn, Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429279775

Giebelhausen, M & Barringer, T (eds) 2009, Writing the Pre-Raphaelites: Text, Context, Subtext. Ashgate.

Giebelhausen, M 2006, Painting the Bible: Representation and Belief in mid-Victorian Britain. 1st edn, Ashgate, Aldershot UK.


Giebelhausen, M 2023, 'Sculpture and Faith at St Paul’s Cathedral, c. 1796-1914: W. F. Woodington, The Gospel of St Luke (1862): Enlisting the Bible', Journal of Victorian Culture, vol. 28, no. 1, pp. 92-98. https://doi.org/10.1093/jvcult/vcac022

Giebelhausen, M 2013, 'After word, thought, life: a stroll in Parisian parks', Open Arts Journal, no. 2. <http://dx.doi.org/10.5456/issn.2050-3679/2013w18mg>

Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Giebelhausen, M 2013, The studio Collard and the barricades of 1871: a challenge not only to the architecture of Paris. in M Nilsen (ed.), Nineteenth-Century Photographs and Architecture: Documenting History, Charting Progress, and Exploring the World. Ashgate, pp. 105-119.

Giebelhausen, M 2012, In the museum's ruins: staging the passage of time. in S Macleod, L Hanks & J Hale (eds), Museum Making: Narratives, Architectures, Exhibitions. Routledge, pp. 234-246.

Giebelhausen, M 2012, The religious and intellectual background. in E Prettejohn (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to the Pre-Raphaelites. Cambridge University Press, pp. 62-75.

Giebelhausen, M 2009, The quest for Christ: William Holman Hunt and the writing of artistic motivation. in M Giebelhausen & T Barringer (eds), Writing the Pre-Raphaelites: Text, Context, Subtext. Ashgate, pp. 117-137.

Giebelhausen, M 2006, A Museum Architecture: a brief history. in S MacDonald (ed.), Companion to Museum Studies. Blackwell, pp. 223-244.

Giebelhausen, M 2005, The Architecture is the Museum. in J Marstine (ed.), New Museum Theory. Blackwell, pp. 41-63.

Giebelhausen, M 2004, Holman Hunt, William Dyce and the image of Christ. in N Bown, C Burdett & P Thurshwell (eds), The Victorian Supernatural. Cambridge University Press, pp. 173-194.


Giebelhausen, M 2023, Footholds in the ‘Northern wilderness’: Exhibiting Scandinavian Art, 1912 to 2023. in S Pettersson & A-M von Bonsdorf (eds), Nordic Art and Way of Life: Art World, Artists and Themes. Mercatorfonts.

Giebelhausen, M 2020, Page, Canvas, Wall: Visualising the History of Art. in S Pettersson (ed.), Inspiration: Iconic Works. Finnish National Gallery, Helsinki, pp. 31-45. https://doi.org/• https://research.fng.fi/2020/07/23/page-canvas-wall-visualising-the-history-of-art/

Conference contribution

Giebelhausen, M 2006, Lost worlds: how the museum remembers. in Working Papers in Art and Design. vol. 4. <https://www.herts.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0019/12376/WPIAAD_vol4_giebelhausen.pdf>

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