BA, MA, PhD (York)Research Interests
Sarah Burnage is currently researching and curating the forthcoming major exhibition William Etty: Art and Controversy (June 2011 - January 2012) for York Art Gallery - a two year post funded by the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art. The William Etty: Art and Controversy exhibition will be the first comprehensive reassessment of Etty's art in over 50 years. One of the core ambitions of the exhibition is to resurrect Etty's reputation from the doldrums of art historical obscurity and stress the pivotal role he played in the dynamics of artistic practice in the first half of the nineteenth-century. In addition to curating the exhibition, Sarah is also writing and co-editing the accompanying catalogue, William Etty: Art and Controversy, to be published by Philip Wilson Publishers (June 2011).
Before joining York Art Gallery Sarah was a Henry Moore Postdoctoral Fellow in the History of Art Department at York, developing her PhD research on the works of leading London sculptor John Bacon (1744-1799). Sarah completed her PhD at York in July 2008, supervised by Professor Mark Hallett. Alongside completing the William Etty: Art and Controversy catalogue, Sarah is continuing her research on John Bacon and is planning to extend her research into a book length study provisionally entitled The Practice of Sculpture in Late Eighteenth-Century England: John Bacon and his Contemporaries. This work will consider the emergence from the early 1760s onwards of a self-consciously 'English School of Sculpture'. By reassessing the cultural and institutional contexts used to promote, develop and display sculpture in the period, Sarah plans to outline an original narrative of English sculpture in the latter half of the eighteenth-century, one that is newly attentive to its diversity and contradictions. Whilst Bacon's contributions to sculptural practice in this formative period for British art will play a fundamental role in this study, Sarah plans to broaden and deepen the scope of her original project by addressing works by other leading sculptors, including Thomas Banks, John Flaxman, and Joseph Nollekens.
Following the success of the conference, The British School of Sculpture: Rethinking Sculptural Practice c. 1650-1830 which Sarah organised in collaboration with the Henry Moore Institute and the University of York (November 2009), she is also in the middle of preparing a book of edited essays on the 'British School of Sculpture'.Books and Catalogues