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News Archive 2021

2020/21 Academic highlights at The Courtauld

17 Aug 2021

Despite the challenging circumstances, the 2020/21 academic year at The Courtauld has seen major awards, the publication of new books, and the successful completion of seven PhDs. 


Professor Christine Stevenson – Leverhulme Trust

Christine Stevenson, Professor of Early Modern Art and Architecture, has been awarded a twelve-month Leverhulme Research Fellowship to support the completion of her book, Mechanick Races: The Production and Consumption of English Baroque Architecture. Almost thirty years ago, Christine began to wonder what a history of late seventeenth and early eighteenth-century English architecture would look like if we switched the focus from architects to the masons, bricklayers, carvers, plasterers, smiths, and painters who actually produced the structural and decorative elements that together make up a building, and to the patrons who valued them. She was then distracted by writing other books, but this one is the result of that question. Christine begins her Fellowship in September 2021. Find out more here.

Arts & Humanities Research Council Capabilities for Collections Fund (CapCo)

The Courtauld has been awarded two grants totalling more than £2.2 million from the Arts & Humanities Research Council Capabilities for Collections Fund (CapCo) to upgrade critical art conservation instruments and support the infrastructure development essential to further care of The Courtauld’s world-class collections, as part of its transformative Courtauld Connects project. Find out more here.


Julian Stallabrass: Killing for Show: Photography, War, and the Media in Vietnam and Iraq

Professor Julian Stallabrass’ new book is about how war photography is used to sway public opinion. Since the Vietnam War, the way we see conflict—through film, photographs, and pixels—has had a powerful impact on the political fortunes of the campaign, and the way that war has been conducted. In this fully illustrated and passionately argued account of war imagery, Dr Stallabrass tells the story of post-war conflict, how it was recorded and remembered through its iconic photography. Find out more here

Guido Rebecchini: The Rome of Paul III (1534-1549): Art, Ritual and Urban Renewal

 Dr Guido Rebecchini’s richly illustrated book uses mainly unpublished documentation to investigate a range of multi-media urban, architectural and artistic projects promoted by Paul III. It adopts a multi-disciplinary approach to deepen our knowledge of Rome’s visual culture after the Sack of 1527, providing a nuanced and fresh understanding of the social, economic and political conditions underpinning the creation of celebrated masterpieces, like Michelangelo’s Last Judgement or his design of the Campidoglio. This study – the first entirely dedicated to Rome during the pontificate of Paul III – re-conceptualizes the periodization of Rome’s early-modern history, which is traditionally polarized between the High Renaissance and the Baroque, and establishes Paul III’s reign as the hinge between these two, seemingly disconnected, periods.  Find out more here.

Two new books were also launched in the Courtauld Books Online series: 

Continuous Page: Scrolls and Scrolling from Papyrus to Hypertext: This open-access book of 12 essays, accompanied by a series of fully digitised scroll objects, constitutes a systematic attempt to approach the subject of the scroll from an interdisciplinary standpoint, incorporating contributions from an internationally renowned group of scholars who address material from the ancient world to the twenty-first century, ranging across objects from Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and the Americas. Read the book here.

Ruskin’s Ecologies: Figures of Relation from Modern Painters to The Storm-Cloud: This open-access book, edited by Kelly Freeman and Thomas Hughes, consists of fourteen essays by established and emerging writers reconsiders John Ruskin’s (1819–1900) art and writings on art, architecture, nature, society and science in light of contemporary planetary concerns, revealing that Ruskin’s work was an ongoing analysis of vital interrelations between things, same and different. Read the book here.


Congratulations to seven students who completed their PhDs this academic year! 

  • Denis Stolyarov was awarded a PhD in October 2020, with the thesis title (Post)-Soviet Art in the Era of Wild Capitalism, 1985 – 1995, supervised by Professor Sarah Wilson. 
  • Jacek Olender was awarded a PhD in November 2020, with the thesis title Gecko-inspired Dry Adhesives: Evaluating their Applicability to the Conservation of Cultural Heritage, supervised by Dr Stephen Whiteman. 
  • Miguel Aires De Campos was awarded a PhD in December 2020, with the thesis title Mirabilia Depicta: Image and imagination in the Anglo-Saxon Wonders of the East, supervised by Professor Alixe Bovey. 
  • Amanda Delorey was awarded a PhD in December 2020, with the thesis title Modernist Planning and Informal Settlements: The History of Social Housing Architecture in Mexico City, supervised by Professor Julian Stallabrass. 
  • Sooyoung Leam was awarded a PhD in May 2021, with the thesis title Lee Seung-taek: The Making and Unmaking of Sculpture in Contemporary Korean Art, supervised by Professor Sarah Wilson. 
  • Saida Bondini was awarded a PhD in May 2021, with the thesis title Urban and Social Spaces: Art, Architecture, and Family Patronage in Bologna (1470-1520), supervised by Dr Guido Rebecchini. 
  • Maggie Crosland was awarded a PhD in June 2021, with the thesis title Servans tous les jours: Devotion, Interaction, and Familial Piety in the Grandes Heures of Philip the Bold, supervised by Professor Alixe Bovey.