Francesca Wilmott - The Courtauld Institute of Art

Francesca Wilmott

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Francesca Wilmott

PhD student

Thesis: Far Out California: Regionalism in Post-1960s American Art

Supervisor: Dr Jo Applin

My doctoral research examines the ways in which artists working outside of large urban centers in Northern California in the 1960s and 70s have complicated familiar narratives about the evolution of international contemporary art. Artists I am researching include Stephen Kaltenbach, Gladys Nilsson, William T. Wiley, and Joan Brown. Together, my chapters examine regional American artistic identities as more than geographic designations and discuss the literal and metaphorical qualities of absence, concealment, nature, and spirituality that flourished in postwar Northern California.


  • Ph.D. Candidate, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Fall 2018–present
  • M.A., Modern Art History, Theory, and Criticism, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 2010
  • M.A., Arts Administration and Policy, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 2010
  • B.A., History of Art and Architecture, Miami University, Oxford, OH, 2006

Research Interests

  • Post-war international art
  • American art
  • Northern California
  • Chicago
  • Conceptual practices
  • Post-modern dance
  • Feminism
  • Eccentricity

Grants and Fellowships

  • Terra Foundation for American Art, Immersion Semesters Fellowship at University of California, Santa Barbara, Fall 2019
  • Terra Foundation for American Art, Research Travel Grant to the United States, 2019–2020
  • SAVAnT at CHASE Research Travel Award, 2019–2020

Conferences and Workshops

  • Paper, “Crafting Global Narratives: A California Case Study,” 3rd Academic Symposium, Cheongju Craft Biennale, Korea, October 2019
  • Paper, “Stephen Kaltenbach as ‘Regional Artist,’” American Art First! Symposium organized by SAVAnT at CHASE, British Library, June 19–20, 2019
  • Chair, Modern and Contemporary 2nd Year PhD Symposium, The Courtauld Institute of Art, June 3, 2019
  • Chair, Annual Postgraduate Symposium, The Courtauld Institute of Art, May 16, 2019
  • Participant, Japan America Curatorial Exchange, Tokyo, Kanazawa, Echigo, July 18–27, 2015; Dallas Museum of Art, March 26–28, 2015

Curatorial Experience

  • Independent Curator, Slant Step Forward, Verge Center for the Arts, Sacramento, 2019
  • Associate Curator, Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, University of California, Davis, 2016–2017
  • Curatorial Assistant, Drawings and Prints, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2012–2016
  • Research Assistant, Modern and Contemporary Art, Saint Louis Art Museum, 2010–2011
  • Co-director, Los Caminos Gallery, St. Louis, 2010–2011
  • Co-director, Concertina Gallery, Chicago, 2009–2010


  • Contributor to World History of Woman Photographers, ed. Luce Lebart and Marie Robert (Paris: Textuel, forthcoming).
  • Editor and contributor, Slant Step Book: The Mysterious Object and the Book it Inspired (Sacramento: Verge Center for the Arts; distributed by D.A.P., 2019).
  • “A Room of Quiet: The Work of Koo Kyung Sook,” in Koo Kyung Sook (Sacramento: University Library Gallery, California State University, Sacramento, 2019).
  • “Making Worlds: The Art of Irving Marcus,” in Irving Marcus: Romance & Disaster, ed. Rachel Teagle (Davis: Manetti Shrem Museum, 2018): 31–39.
  • “Plates with Entries,” in Wayne Thiebaud: 1958–1968, ed. Rachel Teagle (Oakland: University of California Press, 2018): 68–142.
  • “The Object and Its Reproduction,” in Marcel Broodthaers, ed. Christophe Cherix and Manuel Borja-Villel (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2016): 116–18.
  • “Objects,” co-authored with Rafael García, in Marcel Broodthaers, Christophe Cherix and Manuel Borja-Villel (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2016): 76–9.
  • “1960–1962,” in Yoko Ono: One Woman Show, 1960–1971, ed. Christophe Cherix and Klaus Biesenbach (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2015): 42–7.

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