Alexandra Gerstein - The Courtauld Institute of Art

Alexandra Gerstein

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Dr Alexandra Gerstein

McQueens Curator of Sculpture and Decorative Arts

Alexandra Gerstein studied at the École du Louvre, Paris (1994) and at The Courtauld Institute of Art, writing her Ph.D. on aspects of sculptural integration in the public buildings of the Edwardian Baroque Revival (2003). Previously she worked at the Canadian Center for Architecture. At the Gallery she is responsible for a collection of about 500 objects, spanning a variety of media and dating from Antiquity to the early 20th century, and leads on matters related to provenance research for the period 1933-45. She co-curated two exhibitions in collaboration with the State Hermitage Museum, on porcelain from Revolutionary Russia (‘Circling the Square: Avant-garde Porcelain from Revolutionary Russia’, 2007) and on Empress Josephine and the arts (‘France in Russia: Empress Josephine’s Malmaison Collection’, 2008).

Current & recent exhibitions and projects

In 2008, Gerstein curated a display of Thomson Collection Ivories at The Courtauld Gallery, in collaboration with Professor John Lowden. Her research on the Omega Workshops led to an exhibition at The Courtauld Gallery in 2009, ‘Beyond Bloomsbury: The Omega Workshops, 1913-1919’. Currently she is researching an upcoming exhibition on Auguste Rodin’s late sculpture and drawings of dancers (2016).

She runs an interdisciplinary programme of inter-university internships called ‘Illuminating Objects’, which seeks to shed new light on objects from the decorative arts collection and give significant pre-professional experience to postgraduate students from a variety of fields outside the history of art. Collaborating institutions include Imperial College, King’s College, SOAS, UCL and the University of Kent.

Research interests

  • Sculpture in the 19th and & 20th centuries
  • History of collecting especially in the Victorian period and early 20th century

Recent publications

  • Introductory Essay on Thomas Gambier Parry, to John Lowden, Medieval and Later Ivories in the Courtauld Gallery: Complete catalogue (Paul Holberton Press, 2013)
  • ‘Design et modes de production aux ateliers Omega (1913-1919)’ in Conversation anglaise : le groupe de Bloomsbury, Exhibition catalogue, Musée de la Piscine, Roubaix (November 2009)
  • Beyond Bloomsbury: Designs of the Omega Workshops, 1913-1919 (Courtauld Gallery & Fontanka Pres, 2009), Editor and author of catalogue section
  • France in Russia: Empress Josephine’s Malmaison Collection (Fontanka Press, 2007), Consultant editor and author of introductory essay, ‘Josephine at Malmaison’
  • Display and Displacement: Sculpture and the Pedestal from Renaissance to Post-Modern (Courtauld Research Forum & Paul Holberton, 2007), Editor

Other professional activities

  • Member of the Editorial Board of the Sculpture Journal.

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