The Art History staff at Aberdeen have a wide and thriving range of research interests, ranging across different periods, geographies and media: from Early Modern printmaking in Britain, and late medieval Alpine art, to art historiography, exhibition history and contemporary art and Feminism, to name just a few.
Art historical research in Aberdeen benefits from an exceptional archive and museum at the University, whilst at the same time, members of staff foster strong links with researchers worldwide.
In recent years, the Department has spearheaded a range of major initiatives, for example the “Buildings of Scotland” Project, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, and the creation of the St Vigeans Museum, funded by Historic Scotland. Current third-party funded projects include, among others, the interdisciplinary Menstruation Research Network UK menstruation research network.
The Department is co-hosting the George Washington Wilson Centre for Art and Visual Culture, bringing together scholars from across the University with an interest in the visual. A regular Research Seminar brings a range of international speakers to Aberdeen to share their cutting-edge research, as well as allowing members of the department to give papers on work in progress.
We are interested in hearing from students wishing to undertake postgraduate level work in Art history at the MLitt or doctoral level. Please contact one of the supervisors below if you are thinking about applying for an MLitt or PhD in their subject area. We are also keen to hear from postdoctoral researchers who are interested in developing their projects at Aberdeen.
Dr Joanne Anderson: Supervision is offered in the history of late-medieval and Early Modern art and visual culture, particularly in the Alpine countries and Italy; Art and Religion; and the history of exhibitions.
Dr Hans C. Hönes: Supervision is offered in the history of European art and visual culture of the 18th and 19th centuries; art historiography and art theory; and the intersections of Art and Ecology. Hans is co-Director of the George Washington Wilson Centre for Art and Visual Culture.
Dr Helen Pierce: Supervision is offered in the history of Early Modern British and Scottish Art; Print Culture in Early Modern Europe; and the history of collecting.
Dr Camilla Mørk Røstvik: Supervision is offered in the history of 20th and 21st-century art and visual culture, in particular feminist and ecocritical approaches; the intersections of art and science; and Norwegian art history.
- PGR Students
The Art History department offers research supervision to PhD and research MLitt students across a wide range of areas, reflecting the research interests of our staff. All research students are assigned a supervisor; joint supervision may be suitable in some cases. We also offer a PhD by Distance Learning which is suitable for students who cannot come to campus regularly.
Some current (and recently graduated) students at the Department include:
Andrew Popple, Art of Social Engagement in Scotland, 1939-1987: contributing to socio-political debate?
Wendy McGlashan, Enlightenment Society Observed: The Edinburgh Portraits of John Kay 1784-1822
Lindsey Cordiner Vyse, The Architecture of Healing
Genevieve Strong, The Depiction of Gender and Technology in Neo-Victorian Art
- Funded Project: Menstruation Research Network UK: Beyond Products
Funded by the Wellcome Trust from January 2022 – January 2025
Established by Dr Camilla Mørk Røstvik and colleagues in 2019 with a Wellcome Trust Network Grant, the Menstruation Research Network UK has been able to partake in and document a change in the visual culture, art, discourse, policy, and media surrounding menstruation in Britain and the world. This network included scholars, activists, and artists from many disciplines, including Art History and visual culture.
Image: Mary Rouncefield, Menstruation, 2015. Wet-on-wet technique watercolour on paper. Created to promote World Menstruation Day. Wellcome Trust Collection, attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0).
- Funded Project: “Fundaments of Knowledge”: Art History in Britain, c. 1940-1970
Funded by Paul Mellon Research Collections Fellowship 2021/22
Dr Hans C. Hönes
This project proposes to reassess the institutional history of art history in Britain between c. 1940-70. Looking beyond the usual focus on art history as a university discipline, the project looks to the informal networks and (semi-) institutional nodes that fostered disciplinary discourse in postwar Britain.
- Funded Project: Arctic Periods - Transnational Knowledge about Menstrual History and Wellbeing
Funded by the Scottish Government Arctic Connections Fund 2021-2022 from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022
Dr Camilla Mørk Røstvik
During the 2010s, menstrual activism, art, media and policy in the Arctic region increased. In 2020, Scotland became the first country in the world to make period products free, and Arctic countries launched public health campaigns about menstruation. This project brings together menstrual researchers from the region to exchange expertise and raise awareness of common ambitions regarding promotion of menstrual research and wellbeing in the Arctic.
- Art History Research Seminar
The Department’s regular Research Seminar brings a range of international speakers to Aberdeen to share their cutting-edge research, as well as allowing members of the department (including doctoral students) to give papers on work in progress.
Simon Constantine (University of Aberdeen), Street Photography Revisited: Garry Winogrand and the ‘Look of Non-Art’
Rebecca Gill (National Gallery London), Virtual Veronese
Eleanor Neumann (University of Virginia), Maria Graham and the 1822 Chilean Earthquake
Stephanie Schwartz (UCL), Recursive Histories and American Physiognomies: Revisiting Walker Evans’s “American Photographs”
Lieke Wijnia (Museum Catharijne Convent, Utrecht), Mary Magdalen in the Museum