Dr Tom NicksonAssociate Dean; Lecturer in Medieval Art
Tom Nickson read Art History at Cambridge, and it was while walking the roads to Santiago de Compostela on a cheap student holiday that he first discovered his love of Spanish medieval art and architecture. He moved to The Courtauld for his MA (2005), and in 2009 received his PhD from The Courtauld. He was lecturer in medieval art and architecture at the University of York from 2009, and then returned to The Courtauld in 2012. He is Vice-chair of ARTES, a charity dedicated to raising awareness and understanding of Iberian and Latin American visual culture.
Tom investigates two areas that intersect in the Iberian Peninsula. Research in the early stages of his career focused on gothic art and architecture across Europe, particularly its relationship to sacred and profane uses of space. Recent work interrogates the connections between art and belief in medieval Iberia, particularly as a consequence of encounters between Christian, Islamic and Jewish traditions. Multilingual inscriptions have been a topic of particular interest. Tom’s book, Toledo Cathedral: Building Histories in Medieval Castile was published by Penn State University Press in December 2015. This work provides a new history of Spain’s primatial cathedral, analysing its architecture, urban setting, decoration and liturgy as a way of addressing issues of wider significance for the Iberian Peninsula.
- BA1 Foundations
- MA History of Art: Arts of Intimacy? Christians, Muslims and Jews in Medieval Spain
- The spread of Gothic architecture in medieval Europe and technologies of architectural transmission.
- 19th– and 20th-century architectural criticism and revivalism.
- Church furnishings.
- Epigraphy and orality.
- The reception of Islamic art and architecture in medieval Europe
- Architecture and light
- Antiquarianism in Early Modern Spain
Books and edited books
- Toledo Cathedral: Building Histories in Medieval Castile. Penn State University Press, December 2015.
Essays, articles and reviews
- ‘Simulacra and Seriality: Spanish Renaissance Sculpture‘. Special issue of the Hispanic Research Journal, eds T. Nickson, M. Trusted and J. Schrader, 16: 5 (October 2015).
- ‘The Sound of Conversion in Medieval Iberia’. Resounding Images: Medieval Intersections of Art, Music, and Sound, eds S. Boynton and D. Reilly (2015), 91-107.
- ‘Remembering Fernando. Multi-lingual inscriptions in medieval Iberia’. Viewing Inscriptions in the Late Antique and Medieval World, ed. A. Eastmond (2015), 170-186′.
- ‘Sovereignty Belongs to God: Text, Ornament and Magic in Christian and Islamic Seville‘, Art History 38: 5 (2015), 838-61.
- ‘Texts and Talismans in Medieval Castile’. Art in Translation 7: 1 (2015): 9-38
- Picturing Kingship in Medieval Castile. eds T. Nickson and K. Donahue-Wallace. Special 2012 issue of the Hispanic Research Journal, with papers from a conference organised in York in July 2011.
- ‘Copying Córdoba? Toledo and Beyond‘. The Medieval History Journal 15, no. 2 (2012): 319–354.
- ‘The First Murder: Picturing Polemic c. 1391‘. The Hebrew Bible in the Fifteenth Century: Exegesis, Literature, Philosophy, and the Arts, eds Jonathan Decter and Arturo Prats, (2012): 41–60.
- ‘Reframing the Bible: Genesis and Exodus on Toledo Cathedral’s Fourteenth-Century Choir Screen’. In Gesta 50, no. 1 (January 2011): 71–89.
- ‘Art and Belief in Medieval Castile’. Spiritual Temporalities in Late-Medieval Europe, ed. M. Foster, (2010): 99–126.
- ‘La Catedral: su Historia Constructiva’. La Catedral Primada de Toledo, ed. R. Gonzálvez, (2010): 148–161.
- ‘The Locked-Up Garden. Art and Nature in Medieval Castile’. Immediations 2, no. 2, (2009): 19–29.
- ‘The Royal Tombs of Santes Creus: Negotiating the Royal Image in Medieval Iberia‘. Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte 72, no. 1, (2009): 1–14.
- ‘Moral Edification at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge‘. Architectural History 48, (2005): 49–68
Other current/ongoing professional activities
- Vice-chair of ARTES
- Art History, editorial board