Our international community of scholars explores the art of the British Isles and associated historical territories from late antiquity to the present day.

We have expertise in medieval stained glass, sculpture and architecture; 18th and 17th-century architecture, painting, sculpture and graphic art; Victorian painting, sculpture and architecture and modern British art and architecture.

Our researchers examine British art from a wide range of theoretical and historiographical positions, alongside issues of materiality, iconography, class, gender, sexuality and ethnicity. We look at these topics in relation to local, international, imperial and post-colonial cultures.

For over twenty years, our staff and students have played a defining role in the field of British art studies through major exhibitions, publications, conferences and other events.


Contact us

Dr Richard Johns
Cluster Director


  • Professor Jason Edwards
  • The global contexts of 'British' sculpture, c.1757-1914; art around the Arctic circle; world and complex systems; ocean studies; art of the British empire; craft and design reform in long-19th-century Britain; the reception of Buddhist art in the Atlantic world; JMW. Turner; aestheticism; nineteenth-century Assyriology and Egyptology; Victorian art and interiors; critical animal studies; and queer theory, especially Eve Kosofsky.
  • Professor Anthony Geraghty
  • Christopher Wren; John Vanbrugh; English Baroque architecture; architectural drawing and design practice; early modern university architecture.
  • Professor Jane Hawkes
  • Late antique, early Christian and early Islamic art and architecture; Anglo-Saxon art, with a particular emphasis on the sculpture and its historiography; the art and architecture of 19th- and early 20th-century medieval revivals.
  • Dr Richard Johns
  • Art and visual culture from c.1650-1850, especially decorative history painting, and the relationship between art and architecture; landscape and marine painting; questions of taste and value in art.
  • Professor Elizabeth Prettejohn
  • The Pre-Raphaelites; Victorian Aestheticism; Victorian and 20th-century art criticism (particularly Walter Pater, Roger Fry); receptions of ancient, medieval and Renaissance art; relationships between philosophical aesthetics and art practice.

Current students:

  • Susie Beckham
    Reassessing the Pre-Raphaelite label (1848-2022)

  • Cristina Alfonsin Barreiro
    The Vulliamy workshop at Pall Mall – 100 years of creating luxury in London

  • Martin Brook
    Charles Rutherston -The North of England's forgotten modernist pioneer? A case study into the collection and reception of modern art in the North of England, c.1900-1945

  • Nigel Burt
    The Two ‘Authors’ of Work: Ford Madox Brown and Thomas Edward Plint

  • Pamela Chapman
    York - the architectural palimpsest - an investigation.

  • Helena Cox
    The Impact of British Art in Bohemia/Czech Lands around 1900

  • Caitlin Doley
    Beyond Superficial Senescence: Art and Old Age in Victorian and Edwardian Britain

  • Nicholas Dunn-McAfee
    ‘Venus surrounded by mirrors, reflecting her in different views': uncertain desires and aesthetic uncertainties in D. G. Rossetti’s double-works

  • Izabella Gill Brown
    British Victorian Busts

  • Eliza Goodpasture
    Female Friendship Among Artists at the Turn

  • Debbie Innes
    The architectural, artistic and social histories of the New Gallery, Regent Street 1888-1910

  • Sarah Kemp
    The influence of trade, textiles, and patronage on the early portraiture of Thomas Gainsborough from his Ipswich period.

  • Sam Love
    Glamour, English Art, and the Re-Enchantment of High Society, 1918-39

  • Layla Lozano
    Early British Women Travellers to Ravenna and Their Impact Upon Early Studies of Byzantine Art

  • Eduardo de Maio
    A study of the phenomenon of the influence of English Pre-Raphaelitism in Italy on criticism, but especially on art.

  • Peter Molloy
    From Ritual to Rapture: representations of the quest myth in mid-Victorian illustration

  • Kim Newell
    Shifting patterns of taste and identity through iconographic analyses of mid-Victorian ceramics

  • Adrian Robbins
    A Different View of Turner: Private Collectors, Agnew¿s and the Art Market, 1852-1906

  • Madeline Salzman
    The Meaning, Iconography and Role of Angels in Anglo-Saxon England

  • Gemma Shearwood
    Commemorating Imperialism in Eighteenth-Century Westminster Abbey

  • Michael Smith
    John Flaxman: art, design and the intermedial body
  • Murray Tremellen
    A palace within a Palace: the Speaker's House at Westminster, 1794-1834

  • Junxia Wang
    The interplay of publicity images and art practice in the early Edwardian Britain

  • Robyn Valentine
    'Convent Thoughts': Community and Religion in the Works of Charles Allston Collins.'

  • Elizabeth Waring
    'Most Women have no Characters at all': Gender and Agency in Godfrey Kneller’s Portraits of Women 1676-1723

  • Eleanor Wilson
    Self-Fashioning and International Artistic Patronage of Merchants in Pre- and Post- Reformation London: The Merchant Taylors 1400-1610

Past students:

  • Rhian Addison
  • Landscape Artists’ Studios in London, 1780-1850
  • Anna Bonewitz
  • Collectively Fashioned: Women, Dress, and Networks of Representation in British Visual Culture, 1750-1900
  • Thomas Bromwell
  • Interwar British Art and the Apocalypse
  • Pola Durajska
  • 'I saw Nature unfold before my eyes': Nature, Science, and Myth in the Landscape Art of Frederic Leighton
  • Alexandra Gushurst-Moore
  • The Making of Modern Fantasy in the Visual Arts of England, c. 1854-1914
  • Mariam Hale
  • Escapism and fantasy in nineteenth-century British art
  • Nanami Kawade
  • The Business Side of Art Collecting in Victorian Britain
  • Clive Kennard
  • Playing with Guilt: A Symbolic Analysis of Simeon Solomon's Biblical Images
  • Katrina-Eve Manica 
  • Aestheticism of Empire: longing for beauty
  • Samantha Niederman
  • Solving 'the modern problem': Frances Hodgkins and Cedric Morris
  • Antonio Noh
  • Victorian Artists during the Great War
  • Ciarán Rua O'Neill
  • The Caryatid in Nineteenth-Century Britain
  • Madeleine Pelling
  • "That Noble Possessor": Knowledge and its Materials in the Collection of Margaret Cavendish Bentinck, Duchess of Portland (1715-1785)
  • Melanie Polledri
  • Networks, Connections and Ambition: The work of Sir William Goscombe John (1899-1942)
  • Marte Stinis
  • Music as Aesthetic Ideal and Victorian Aesthetic Painting
  • Julie Whyman
  • The Devil is in the Detail: Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s Manipulation of the Angels’ Alphabet
  • Tom Woodhouse
  • Abraham Solomon (1823-1862)
  • Glenda Youde
  • Beyond Ophelia: The artistic legacy of Elizabeth Eleanor Rossetti (née Siddall)

Contact us

Dr Richard Johns
Cluster Director