British Art


The British Art Research School

The British Art research school comprises an internationally unique and significant collection of scholars interested in art in the British isles and historical territories from the late antique to the contemporary periods.

We enjoy particular concentrations of expertise in medieval stained glass, sculpture and architecture; 17th- and early 18th-century architecture; 18th-century painting, sculpture and graphic art; Victorian and Modernist painting, sculpture and architecture; and British art since 1945.

The school considers British art as it has been produced in a diverse array of geographical, cultural and material contexts.

Working from a wide range of theoretical, historiographical and methodological positions, members of the school variously address British art in relation to issues of materiality, iconography, class, gender, sexuality and ethnicity, as also in relation to local, continental, imperial and post-colonial cultures.

The British Art Research School offers a very broad range of options at both undergraduate and graduate levels, and has a sizeable, thriving community of research students.

Scholars connected with the British Art Research School have been responsible for a range of recent, internationally-significant exhibitions, and have published numerous important monographs, articles and essays on the subject.


Research staff


Research students

Current students

  • Elizabeth Alexander
    Visualising the Old Testament in Anglo-Saxon England
  • Beatrice Bertram
    William Etty and the Royal Academy
  • Anna Bonewitz
    Fashion Across Borders and Seas: Print Culture, Women's Networks and the Creation of Feminine Identities in the British Atlantic World, 1750-1900
  • Karen Brett
    Spitting on an Angel, Trampling a Saint: Reading the Medieval English Pavement
  • Desiree du Chair (University of Warwick, member of York-Warwick AHRC research project 'Displaying Victorian Sculpture')
    Sculpture and the Royal Children
  • Alexandra Denman
    "Of Magic and Misery": Representations of Witchcraft, Spiritualism and the Dark Arts in Victorian Britain
  • Joanne Dillon
    The Lost Dimension: Medieval Window Lead – A Study of Sources, Craft and Conservation
  • Kirstin Donaldson
    'Experiment': A Reassessment of Surrealism in England 1928-1931
  • Charlotte Drew
    The formation and early development of the sculpture collections of the South Kensington Museum
  • Caroline Good 
    Lovers of Art: English writers on painting and the narratives of nation, 1658-1719 (part of the AHRC research project: 'Court, Country, City: British Art 1660-1735.')
  • Marie-Helene Groll
    William Burrell, Thomas & Drake, and the Transatlantic Trade in Stained Glass 1900-1950
  • Louise Hampson
    The history and development of the stained and painted glass of York Minster from the late fifteenth century to 1829
  • Izzy Hampton
    Lords of the North? Aristocratic identities in fourteenth century art and architecture
  • Anya Heilpern
    The painted glass of Winchester Cathedral: c.1495-c.1528
  • Melissa Herman
    An Art of Transition: Anglo-Saxon Art from the sixth to the eighth centuries
  • Claire Hildreth
    Exploring the Eccentricities and Anachronisms of Gothic Revival Sculpture in the Nineteenth Century
  • James Hillson
    St Stephen's Chapel, Westminster: Architecture and Decoration in the Courts of Henry III and the three Edwards (1231-1363)
  • Ian Hunter
    Exploring, through the use of a small number of artefacts, how certain symbols or images survived in use from Germanic origins in the 5th/6th century to the late Anglo-Saxon period of the 11th century
  • Clive Jobbins
    The Iconography of the Angelic in Early Christian Anglo-Saxon Art (c. 600-900)
  • Mark Kirby
    Furnishing Sir Christopher Wren's Churches: Anglican Identity in Late Seventeenth Century London
  • James Legard
    Vanbrugh, Blenheim Palace, and the Meanings of Baroque Architecture
  • Eunmin Lim
    Murray Marks (ca.1841-1918), Cultural Translator: British Aestheticism, Cataloguing Renaissance Bronzes and the Art Trade
  • Sophie Littlewood
    Early Modern British Armour and the Fashioning of Masculinity
  • Eoin Martin (University of Warwick, member of York-Warwick AHRC research project 'Displaying Victorian Sculpture')
    Victoria and Albert and sculpture
  • Evan McWilliams
    The English Use: Liturgy and the Arts in the Church of England 1895-1965
  • Emily Moore
    Society Portraits and Social History: John Singer Sargent's Interpretation of the Anglo-American Experience c.1890-1910
  • Julia Musgrave
    The work of the Contemporary Art Society (CAS) in the period 1910-1939, and the role of Roger Fry and the Bloomsbury Group in their achievements
  • Dorothy Nott
    British Military Painting 1854-1914: Humanitarianism, Art and Popular Audiences
  • Melanie Polledri
    Networks, Connections and Ambition: The work of Sir William Goscombe John 1899-1942
  • David Reid
    The history of the re-used twelfth-century glass of York Minster
  • Elizabeth Renes
    The 'Curious' John Singer Sargent: Cosmopolitan Aesthetics
  • Cicely Robinson
    Edward Hawke Locker and the Foundation of the National Gallery of Naval Art (1795-1845)
  • Rebecca Senior
    The Death of Allegory: Problems of the Funerary Monument 1750-1850
  • Nicholas Shaddick
    The 'Generation of 1863' as trans-national network
  • Helen Shaw
    Modern Alchemists: Sculptural Objects, Ceramics and their makers (1959 - 1979)
  • Kuang (Vivian) Sheng
    Female artists’ fantasy of ‘home-making’ in the world: Mona Hatoum, Yin Xiuzhen and Nikki S. Lee
  • Lyndsey Smith
    Waterways and White Gold: The Ivories of Anglo-Saxon England (c. 500-1066)
  • Rachel Smith
    The International Context of the Art of St Ives 1948-60
  • Samuel Smith
    William Mason and The English Landscape, 1750-1797
  • Konstantinos Stasinopoulos
    Turning Tables: Interrogating Silence and Violence in War-Related Artistic Practice since 1980
  • Heidi Stoner
    Representing Power and Majesty in Anglo-Saxon England
  • Robert Sutton
    The Educational Roots of Henry Moore's Public Works, 1939-1951
  • Philip Thomas
    John Coates Carter (1859-1927): architecture, Anglicanism and a sense of place in South Wales
  • Amy Tobin
    Working Together, Working Apart: Feminism, Art and Collaboration in Britain and American (1974-1981)
  • Philippa Turner
    Image and Devotion in Late Medieval English Cathedrals
  • Sean Willcock
    Consolidating the Colonies: Art and Unrest in the British Empire, c.1855-1880
  • Gabriel Williams
    Sculpture at the Victorian International Exhibitions
  • Thomas Woodhouse
    Abraham Solomon (1823-1862)
  • Claire Yearwood
    Alice’s Glass: Mirrors in Nineteenth-Century Painting

Recent postgraduates

  • Caitlin Blackwell
    John Collet (c. 1725-1780): A Commercial Comic Artist
  • Kirsty Breedon
    Herbert Ward: Sculpture, Politics and Exploration in the Atlantic World, 1884 to the Present
  • Sarah Burnage
    Life and work of John Bacon
  • Carolyn Conroy
    The life and work of Simeon Solomon after 1873
  • Cora Gilroy-Ware
    The Classical Nude in Romantic Britain
  • John Gledhill
    A catalogue raisonné of the oil paintings of Matthew Smith
  • Rosanna Harrison
    George Wilson and the Engraved Fan Leaf Design, 1790-1800
  • Imogen Hart
    Arts and crafts objects
  • Karin Hiscock
    The axis group
  • Sam Howard
    'A new theatre of prospects': Eighteenth-century British Painters and Artistic Mobility
  • Philip Kerrigan
    British and US botanical illustration
  • Lucinda Lax
    The 'Ingenious Moral Painter': Edward Penny, the Royal Academy and the Reinvention of Genre Painting 1768-1782
  • Arlene Leis
    Sarah Sophia Banks: femininity, sociability and the practice of collecting in late eighteenth-century England
  • Ariane Mildenberg
    Marks, buttons and notes: phenomenology and creative production in Virginia Woolf, Gertrude Stein and Wallace Stevens
  • Peter Moore
    Graphic Art and Empire: British Visual Culture in the Atlantic World, 1660-1735
  • Ian Neal
    Representations of Reverie: Rossetti, Whistler, Clausen
  • Lara Perry
    Facing femininities: women in the National Portrait Gallery, 1856-1900
  • Jackie Riding
    Joseph Highmore (1692-1780)
  • Sam Shaw
    'Equivocal Positions': The Influence of William Rothenstein, c.1890-1910
  • Catherine Spencer
    'The Lessons of Anthropology' in British and American Art, 1950-70
  • Katie Tyreman
    Between Women: Visualising Victorian Women Artists' Identities Through Art Movements, Media and Scale
  • Michael Walsh
    The career and work of C R W Nevinson to 1924
  • Emma Watts
    Reception and Response: The Impact of British Art in Late Nineteenth-Century Melbourne



Undergraduate modules

  • The Age of the Cathedrals: Architecture in England 1050-1250
  • Church, College & Castle c. 1250-1450
  • Architecture & Politics in Stuart England
  • Art & the City: Representing Georgian London & York
  • Casts and Cultures: The Crystal Palace Sydenham
  • Victorian Art
  • Modernism 1900-1939
  • Image & Word: 19th & 20th Century Interactions between the Visual Arts & Writing
  • Sculpture in the Twentieth Century
  • The Cultures of Sculpture, 1815-1918
  • Painting in Britain
  • Popular Propaganda, Satire & Caricature
  • The English Country House
  • Medieval Stained Glass
  • Sculpture in the Circum-Atlantic World
  • Stained Glass in the Great Church c. 1170-1350
  • The Glory of Gothic: Art for England c. 1400-1547
  • The Art of the Insular World c. 600-1066
  • The Art of Anglo-Saxon England, c.600-1066
  • British Art since the Second World War
  • The 'British School': Sculpture in Britain, c.1760-1837

Postgraduate modules

  • Art & Imagery in York Minster
  • Scrolls and Serpents: The Arts of the Early Insular World (c.600-900 AD)
  • The Grand Tour
  • Graphic Satire in 18th Century England
  • Exhibition: Art & Display in 18th Century England
  • Art and Aestheticism in Late Victorian Britain
  • Modernism in France & England, 1914-1940
  • Glory of Gothic: Art for England c.1400-1547
  • Sir John Vanbrugh & Friends: English Architecture, 1660-1736
  • English Sculpture 1848-99 and English Sculpture 1900-1939


Past events

The British Art Research School runs a very active programme of events each term. All details of forthcoming events will be advertised here and on the History of Art Department News and Events page. The details of all past events are kept in the News and Events archive. 

The British Art Research School also runs a blog which lists forthcoming events and exhibitions concerned with British art studies internationally. It is one of the most up-to-date and exciting resources available for researchers of art in Britain. 


The British Art Research School blog and e-bulletin are edited by History of Art Department PhD students Caroline Good, Catherine Spencer and Sean Willcock. Through the BARS blog and bulletin, we aim to build a community of scholars who are interested in British art studies.

The BARS blog contains a wealth of information about current research into the field of British art, including calls for papers, upcoming events, exhibitions and conferences, and listings of current research projects by Phd students and scholars. It is updated very regularly and is one of the most useful and up-to-date resources for anyone interested in British art studies. 

An e-bulletin, the British Art Research Quarterly, is sent out electronically to the BARS mailing list. If you would like to join, please email