Visiting Assistant Professor
Since the dawn of humankind people have been making beautiful and fantastic things that exceed their requirements for survival: ART! Through this primordial faculty of creation, artists have made sense of the human experience, impressed their consciousness on the world, and shaped reality. My goal as an instructor is to share the wonder of this history with students in order to inspire and inform their own art and scholarship, while establishing a foundation for professional involvement with art. The vocabulary and methods of art history, awareness of historical contexts, knowledge of materials and techniques, and fundamentals of research are all part of this program. Beyond these rudiments, I encourage students to look deeply into the mystery of art with persistent questioning. How does the creative mind interact with the surrounding culture? Why and how do art styles arise? How might art impact a society, a religion, or an ideology? These are only a few of the many questions that can spark further study.
My current research focusses on the long 19th century in Britain: the impact of imperialism and industrialization on the art world, the establishment of public museums, the changing positions of artists and designers, and the rise of collectors outside the nobility. Art and art history in this era were linked with displays of global power, Eurocentric aesthetics, appropriation of cultures and destruction of cultural property; but contacts with civilizations outside Europe simultaneously encouraged the emergence of new art movements like Japanism, Aestheticism and Art Pottery. This was also a time of technological innovations, including chromolithography, electroplating, synthetic dyes and photography, which radically changed art and design; while the development of museums, art schools, and industrial art exhibitions encouraged a flowering of the arts. Much of my research during the past decade has centered on the looting of the Yuanming Yuan (a.k.a. the Summer Palace) in China by the British Army and the effect of this event on China and Britain, which I have covered in a number of publications and lectures, most recently: “Enamels “Ancient’ and “Rare’: The “Summer Palace’ Market in Imperial England.” Journal for Art Market Studies 4, no. 2 (2020).
PhD – University of Glasgow
MLitt – Christie’s Education-University of Glasgow
BA – Barnard College-Columbia University