Christine Stevenson - The Courtauld Institute of Art

Christine Stevenson

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Professor Christine Stevenson

Professor of Early Modern Art and Architecture, Head of Department of History of Art
christine-stevenson

Christine Stevenson began teaching at The Courtauld in 2002, after ten years as a lecturer at the University of Reading and, previously, work as an academic editor at the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine and the Grove Dictionary of Art. Research for her previous book, cover01Medicine and Magnificence: British Hospital and Asylum Architecture, 1660-1815 (Yale, 2000) led imperceptibly into that for her most recent, The City and the King, which was short-listed for the Longman-History Today Book Prize, the William M. Berger Prize for British Art History, the Alice Davis Hitchcock Medallion, and the Art Book Prize. It was runner-up (‘Honorable Mention’) for the Spiro Kostof Book Award (2016), given to a work in any ‘discipline related to urban history that has made the greatest contribution to our understanding of historical development and change’ by the Society of Architectural Historians (of North America).

Christine is now beginning two research projects. One seeks to ground the question of what architectural ‘design’ means – in both the early modern period and today – in the identification of the social, economic, and power relations operating among British craftsmen, architects, and patrons in the sixty or so years after the restoration of the monarchy in 1660. The other is about the single room, that is, the room intended for individual use (prison cells, dressing rooms, cabinets, beach huts) as both an artistic and an architectural phenomenon in Britain from c.1650 to the present (with Dr Leslie Topp, of Birkbeck College, London). All her teaching and writing is driven by the conviction that to understand how a society builds, and then how it mediates its architecture and built spaces, is to go a long way to understanding that society.

Teaching

  • BA History of Art Year 1: ‘European Architecture, c.1480 to c.1820: Case Studies’
  • BA History of Art Year 2: Texts and Contexts: ‘Monuments and Memory’
  • MA History of Art: Modernity and Antiquity in British Architecture, 1615-1815

PhD students

Current

  • Philippa Potts,‘“Tapers to Candles”: Stuart Ambassadors in English Garden History’
  • Jenny Saunt, ‘Decorative Plasterwork in England: Form, Materiality and Making from 1660 to 1700’ (with Professor Katie Scott)
  • Kyle Leyden, ‘“The Epitome of the Kingdom”: Palladianism, Politics and the Fashioning of Irish National Identity’

Recently completed

  • Emily Mann, ‘Architecture and the Negotiation of Empire in the Early Modern Atlantic World’ (2016)
  • Anya Matthews, ‘The Architectural Development and Political Uses of London’s Livery Halls, 1603-1684’ (2015)
  • Jocelyn Anderson: ‘Remaking the Country House: Country-House Guidebooks in the Late Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries’ (2013)

Research interests

  • Single rooms
  • Models
  • Architecture and memory
  • Architectural destruction
  • Buildings and the body
  • Festival and ephemeral architecture
  • Topographical prints

Recent publications

Books and edited books

  • citykingcoverThe City and the King: Architecture and Politics in Restoration London, New Haven and London: Yale University Press for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, 2013
  • architectureinterpretationArchitecture and Interpretation: Essays for Eric Fernie, ed. Jill A. Franklin, T. A. Heslop, and Christine Stevenson, Woodbridge: Boydell, 2012

Essays and articles

  • ·’Making Empire Visible at the Second Royal Exchange, London’, in Court, Country, City: British Art and Architecture, 1660-1735. ed. Mark Hallett, Nigel Llewellyn, and Martin Myrone, New Haven and London, Yale University Press for the Paul Mellon Centre, pp. 51–72
  • ‘Architectural Husbandry’, in Economy and Architecture, ed. Juliet Odgers, Mhairi McVicar, and Stephen Kite, Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2015, pp. 73–85
  • ‘The Destruction of Cheap Cross, London (1643)’, in Architecture and Armed Conflict: The Politics of Destruction, ed. J. M. Mancini and Keith Bresnahan, London and New York, Routledge, 2014, pp. 89–102
  • ‘Vantage Points in the Seventeenth-Century City’, London Journal 33 (2008): pp. 217–32

Other current/ongoing professional activities

  • Member of the international editorial Advisory Panel of Architectural History

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