Professor Christine Stevenson

Professor of Early Modern Art and Architecture

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, Medicine and Magnificence: British Hospital and Asylum Architecture, 1660-1815 (Yale, 2000) led imperceptibly into that for her most recent, The City and the King: Architecture and Politics in Restoration London (Yale, 2013), 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 was in 2020 awarded a twelve-month Leverhulme Research Fellowship to support the completion of her new book, provisionally called Mechanick Races: The Production and Consumption of English Baroque Architecture. Almost thirty years ago, she 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 produced the structural and decorative elements that together made up a high-end building, and to the patrons who valued their products. She was then distracted by other projects, but this one is the result of that question.

PhD supervision


  • Kyle Leyden, ‘“The Epitome of the Kingdom”: Architecture, Identity and the Protean Politics of Irish Improvement c1600-c1740’
  • Harry Adams, ‘Imagining a Modern Metropolis: George Dance the Younger’s Urban Planning for the City of London, 1768-1815’

Completed since 2015

  • Philippa Potts, “Tapers to Candles”: Stuart Ambassadors in English Garden History’ (2016)
  • Jenny Saunt, ‘Decorative Plasterwork in England: Form, Materiality and Making from 1660 to 1700’ (with Professor Katie Scott; 2016)
  • 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)

Research interests

  • Architecture and authority
  • Architecture and memory
  • Buildings and the body
  • Festival and ephemeral architecture
  • Topographical prints


Books and edited books

  • Medicine and Magnificence: British Hospital and Asylum Architecture, 1660-1815. New Haven and London: Yale University Press for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, 2000
  • Architecture and Interpretation: Essays for Eric Fernie, ed. Jill A. Franklin, T. A. Heslop, and Christine Stevenson. Woodbridge: Boydell, 2012
  • The 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

Selected essays and articles

  • (forthcoming) ’English Builders in Translation’, in Literature, Learning, and Social Hierarchy in Early Modern Europe, ed. Neil Kenny. London: British Academy, [2022]
  • ’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, 2016, 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 Fabric Advisory Committee, St Paul’s Cathedral
  • member of the Publications Committee, Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art