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Katrina Hill

Visiting Assistant Professor


Katrina Hill, PhD, Visiting Assistant Professor, History of Art and Design Department, is a postcolonialist scholar whose research has focused on China’s Summer Palace for the past decade, as part of a broader engagement with Victorian culture, particularly issues of taste, propaganda, provenance, collecting, exhibitions and design, as aspects of imperialist aesthetics. She also grapples with problems of heritage and restitution, in the areas of both Asian art and the World War II era. As a postgraduate researcher at University of Glasgow, she held a Graduate Internship in World War II Provenance Research, Freer-Sackler Galleries, Smithsonian Museums. Prior to her doctoral work, she studied Islamic and Indian art at SOAS, University of London, and painting at the New York Studio School. Hill also worked as a graphic artist and illustrator in the New York fashion and multimedia industries for a decade.

PhD, History of Art, University of Glasgow
MLitt, The Arts of China, Christie’s Education-University of Glasgow
BA, English Literature, Barnard College-Columbia University


“Alfred Morrison and His Summer Palace Collection: Sources and Interpretations.“ In The Collections of Alfred Morrison (1821-1897): Millionaire shopping, edited by Caroline Dakers, (London: UCL Press, forthcoming).

“Looters to Collectors: British Soldiers and their Summer Palace Spoils.” Journal of the History of Collections (July 2024),

“Enamels ‘Ancient’ and ‘Rare’: The ‘Summer Palace’ Market in Imperial England.” Journal for Art Market Studies 4, no. 2 (2020). DOI:

“The Yuanmingyuan and Design Reform in Britain.” Collecting & Displaying China’s ‘Summer Palace’ in the West, edited by Louise Tythacott (Routledge, 2017).

“The Yuanmingyuan and Victorian Design.” Oriental Ceramic Society Newsletter, no. 24 (2016).

“Collecting on Campaign: British Soldiers in China During the Opium Wars.” Journal of the History of Collections 25, no. 2 (2013). DOI:

“Chinese Ceramics in UK Military Museums.” Oriental Ceramic Society Newsletter, no. 20 (2012).

“The Victorian Soldier and Chinese Art.” Oriental Ceramic Society Newsletter, no. 17 (2009).


Objects of Contention: Spoils from the Yuanmingyuan in British Collections, Institute for Historical Research, University of London, August 15 & September 25, 2017. Conceived and organized this interdisciplinary conference on artefacts from the Yuanmingyuan (Summer Palace) in British museums, which considered the historical trajectories, contested status and curatorial challenges of looted artworks. Sponsored by the Institut d’Études Supérieures des Arts (IESA) and the Universities’ China Committee in London (UCCL).


“Chinese Imperial Artifacts in Imperialist Britain.” Barnard College, Department of Art History, April 2, 2021.

“Trophies from Paradise: Artifacts from the Yuanmingyuan as Memorials of Victory.” Virtual Conference: The Chinese Art Market, Christie’s Education, Hong Kong, November 27, 2020.

“Plunder & Prize Law: The Case of the Yuanmingyuan.” Conference: Powerful Stuff: Colonial Objects in a Decolonising World, Edinburgh Centre for Global History, University of Edinburgh, December 12, 2019.

“A ‘Hsuande’ Bronze Censer in the British Museum: An Inquiry into the Authenticity of Heritage.” Conference: “Pillage is Formally Prohibited”: Provenance Research on Asian Art
Museum für Asiatische Kunst Berlin, November 8, 2019.

“Introduction to a Porcelain Puzzle: An Imperial Vase Fragment in the Surrey Infantry Museum.” Objects of Contention: Spoils from the Yuanmingyuan in British Collections, September 25, 2017.

“A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Yuanmingyuan: The Plunder as Military Strategy.” Objects of Contention: Spoils from the Yuanmingyuan in British Collections August 15, 2017.

“The Form Adorned: Rococo Mounts on Asian Porcelains.” Conference: Objects and Possessions: Material Goods in a Changing World 1200–1800, University of Southampton, May 4, 2017.

“The Yuanmingyuan and Victorian Design.” Rietberg Museum, Zurich, February 28, 2017.

“Plunder or Prize: Was the Looting of the Yuanmingyuan Legal?” College of Arts, University of Glasgow, November 6, 2016.

“Spoils on Display: Art from the Yuanmingyuan in Britain.” Conference: The Yuanmingyuan in Britain and France, University of Manchester, July 8, 2013.