Professor Mark Hallett

Director Designate

Professor Mark Hallett is the Director Designate of the Courtauld Institute of Art. He will succeed Professor Deborah Swallow as Märit Rausing Director in August 2023.

Prior to arriving at The Courtauld in April 2023, Mark Hallett spent more than a decade as the Director of the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art (PMC), a London-based research centre that is part of Yale University. In this role, he oversaw a major expansion of the Centre’s premises, personnel, activities and remit. Under his leadership, the Centre become known for supporting and publishing research on British art and architecture of all periods. It also became recognised for its pioneering forms of online publication, its expanded learning and events programme, and its ambitious in-house research projects. During his time at the Centre, Hallett also oversaw the launch of the New Narratives scholarships initiative, which supports the development of a more diverse range of scholarly voices in the field of British art studies.

As an art historian, Hallett is best known for his many publications on British art, and for his curatorial involvement in a series of major exhibitions at venues including Tate Britain, the Royal Academy, the Wallace Collection and the Yale Center for British Art. His work ranges from major monographs and exhibitions devoted to the eighteenth-century artists William Hogarth and Joshua Reynolds, to publications on the contemporary artists George Shaw and Frank Auerbach. He also co-edited and contributed to the major online publication, The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition: A Chronicle, 1769–2018. More recently, he has been making films about different aspects of British art, and is in the process of completing a film project focusing on The Procession, a celebrated installation by the artist Hew Locke.

Hallett, who grew up in mid-Wales, attended his local secondary School in Tregaron, Cardiganshire. He took his undergraduate degree at Pembroke College, Cambridge, and studied for a master’s degree and a PhD at The Courtauld. He was an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow at Yale University in 1990–91. Between 1994 and 2012, he taught at the University of York, where he spent five years as the Head of the History of Art department, and was a member of the University’s Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies. He gave the 2011 Watson Gordon lecture at the Scottish National Gallery and the 2019 Aspects of Art lecture at the British Academy.

In 2021, Hallett was appointed a member of the Reviewing Committee for the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest.

On his appointment to The Courtauld, Mark Hallett said that it was ‘a privilege to be asked to lead The Courtauld at this time in its history. Famous for its path-breaking research, outstanding staff, superb collections and newly renovated Gallery, The Courtauld is one of Britain’s great jewels, attracting a global community of scholars, students and visitors.’

Portrait shot of Mark Hallett


Books and Catalogues:

  • Frank Auerbach: Drawings of People (co-edited with Catherine Lampert), Paul Mellon Centre, 2022
  • George Shaw: A Corner of a Foreign Field (ed.), Yale University Press, 2018
  • The Great Spectacle: 250 Years of the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition (co-authored with Sarah Turner), Royal Academy Publishing, 2018
  • Court, Country, City: Essays on British Art and Architecture, 1660–1735 (co-edited with Martin Myrone and Nigel Llewellyn), Yale University Press, 2016
  • Joshua Reynolds: Experiments in Paint (edited with Lucy Davis), The Wallace Collection, 2015
  • Reynolds: Portraiture in Action, Yale University Press, 2014
  • Living with the Royal Academy: Artistic Ideals and Experiences in England, 1769-1848 (ed. with Sarah Monks and John Barrell), Ashgate, 2013
  • Faces in a Library: ‘Sir Joshua Reynolds’ ‘Streatham Worthies’ (The Watson Gordon Lecture 2011), National Galleries of Scotland, 2012
  • William Etty: Art and Controversy (ed. with Sarah Burnage and Laura Turner), Philip Wilson Publishers, 2011
  • Hogarth, co-authored with Christine Riding), Tate Publishing, 2007
  • Eighteenth Century York: Culture, Space and Society, with Jane Rendall, Borthwick Institute, 2003
  • Hogarth, Phaidon Press, 2000
  • The Spectacle of Difference: Graphic Satire in the Age of Hogarth, Yale University Press, 1999

Online Publications:

Films and Recordings:

Essays and articles:

  • The newspaper man: Michael Andrews and the art of painted collage’, The Journal of the British Academy, volume 8 (2020)
  • ‘A Double Capacity: Gainsborough at the Summer Exhibition’, in Christoph Vogtherr (ed.), Thomas Gainsborough: The Modern Landscape, Hamburger Kunstalle, 2018
  • ‘Cornucopia: Royal Female Portraiture and the Imperatives of Reproduction’ (co-authored with Cassandra Albinson), in Joanna Marschner (ed.), Enlightened Princesses: Caroline, Augusta, Charlotte, and the Shaping of the Modern World, Yale University Press, 2017
  • A monument to intimacy: Joshua Reynolds’s The Marlborough Family’, in Art History, Vol.31, no. 5, 2008
  • ‘Reynolds, Celebrity and the Exhibition Space’, and numerous catalogue entries, in Martin Postle (ed) Joshua Reynolds: The Creation of Celebrity, Tate Publishing, 2005
  • Reading the Walls: Pictorial Dialogue at the British Royal Academy’, in Eighteenth-Century Studies, vol. 37, no. 4 (2004)
  • ‘From Out of the Shadows: Sir Joshua Reynolds’ Captain Robert Orme’, in Visual Culture in Britain, Vol. 5, No. 2, 2004
  • ‘Manly Satire: William Hogarth’s A Rake’s Progress’ in Bernadette Fort and Angela Rosenthal (eds.), The Other Hogarth: The Aesthetics of Difference, Princeton University Press, 2001.
  • ‘James Gillray and the Language of Graphic Satire’, in Richard Godfrey (ed.) Gillray and the Art of Caricature, Tate Gallery Publications, 2001.
  • ‘The Business of Criticism: the Press and the Royal Academy Exhibition in Eighteenth-Century London’ in David Solkin (ed.) Art on the line: the Royal Academy Exhibitions at Somerset House 1780-1836, Yale University Press, 2001.
  • ‘The view across the City: William Hogarth and the visual culture of eighteenth-century London’ in David Bindman, Frederic Ogee and Peter Wagner (eds.), Hogarth: Representing Nature’s Machines, Manchester University Press, 2001.
  • ‘Painting: Exhibitions, Audiences, Critics, 1780–1830’, in An Oxford Companion to the Romantic Age: British Culture 1776-1832, edited by Iain McCalman, Oxford University Press, 1999
  • ‘The Medley Print in Early Eighteenth-Century London’, in Art History, Vol 20, no. 2, June 1997
  • ‘Framing the Modern City: Canaletto’s Images of London’, in Michael Liversidge and Jane Farrington (eds.), Canaletto and England, Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, 1993