Sarah Victoria Turner - The Courtauld Institute of Art

Sarah Victoria Turner

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Dr Sarah Victoria Turner

Visiting Senior Lecturer

Contact Details

Sarah Victoria Turner is Deputy Director for Research at the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art in London, as well as Visiting Senior Lecturer at the Courtauld Institute of Art. She was previously a lecturer in the Department of History of Art at the University of York. Sarah’s research interests encompass many aspects of British art from 1850 to 1950 and she has published her work in exhibition catalogues, academic publications and online. In 2018, she will co-curate a major exhibition with Mark Hallett at the Royal Academy in London to mark 250 years of the Academy’s Summer Exhibitions. Sarah was recently named one of Apollo magazine’s ‘40 Under 40’ inspirational people in the European art world. She is co-editor of British Art Studies, an open-access online journal. She is the co-founder of the ‘Enchanted Modernities: Theosophy, Modernism and the Arts c. 1875-1960 ‘Research Network, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, and ‘Internationalism and Cultural Exchange c.1880-1920’, which was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Current Teaching

  • MA 2017-18, Making the Modern: art and visual culture in Britain 1890-1970


Research interests

  • British Art
  • Sculpture
  • Photography
  • Empire/Imperialism/Post-colonialism
  • Art and Esotericism



  • “What is to become of the Crystal Palace?”: The Crystal Palace after 1851, co-edited with Kate Nichols (Manchester: Manchester University Press, Spring 2017)
  • Enchanted Modernities: Theosophy, the Arts and the American West, co-edited with James Mansell and Christopher Scheer (Lopen: Fulgur, currently in press)


  • ‘The Poetics of Permanence: Inscriptions, Poetry and Memorials of the First World War’, Sculpture Journal, 24:1 (2015), DOI: 10.3828/sj.2015.24.1.6
  • ‘“Reuniting What Never Should Have Been Separated”: The Arts and Crafts Movements, Modernism and Sculpture in Britain 1890-1914’, in Martina Droth and Peter Trippi (eds), Change/Continuity: Writing about Art in Britain Before and After 1900, Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide, 14: 2 (Summer 2015)
  • ‘Henry Moore and Direct Carving: Technique, Concept, Context’, in Henry Moore: Sculptural Process and Public Identity (London: Tate Research, 2015)
  •  ‘“A Knot of Violent Living’”: Henri Gaudier-Brzeska’s Wrestlers’, in New Rhythms. Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, Art, Dance and movement 1911 (Cambridge: Kettle’s Yard)
  • ‘William Rothenstein, the ‘Indian Boom’ and the India Society’, in From Bradford to Benares: The Art of Sir William Rothenstein (Bradford: Cartwright Hall)


  • ‘Victorian Sculpture, International Exhibitions and Empire’, in Martina Droth, Jason Edwards and Michael Hatt (eds), Sculpture Victorious: Art in an Age of Invention 1837-1901 (Yale Center for British Art/ Yale University Press, 2014), pp. 298-305



  • ‘Crafting Connections: The India Society and inter-imperial artistic networks in Edwardian Britain’, in Susheila Nasta (ed.), India in Britain: South Asian Networks and Connections, 1858-1950 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), pp. 96-114
  • ‘“Alive and significant”: Aspects of Indian Art, Stella Kramrisch and Dora Gordine in South Kensington c. 1940’, Wasafiri: International Contemporary Writing, 27: 2 (2012) pp. 40-51
  • ‘Ezra Pound’s New Order of Artists: “The New Sculpture” and the critical formation of a sculptural avant-garde in early twentieth-century Britain, Sculpture Journal, 21:2 (2012), pp. 9-21


  • ‘Intimacy and Distance: Physicality, Race and Paint in Etty’s “The Wrestlers”, in Sarah Burnage, Mark Hallett and Laura Turner (eds), William Etty: Art & Controversy (London: Philip Wilson Publishers in association with York Museums Trust, 2011), pp. 75-90
  • ‘Sex, Stone and Empire: Direct Carving and “British” Sculpture’, in Modern British Sculpture (London: Royal Academy, 2011), pp. 100-105


  • ‘Modernism and the Visual Arts’, in Peter Brooker, Andrzej Gasiorek, Deborah Parsons and Andrew Thacker (eds), Modernisms Handbook (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), pp. 540-561
  • ‘The “essential quality of things”: E.B. Havell, Ananda Coomaraswamy and Indian Sculpture in Britain’, Journal of Visual Culture in Britain (Autumn, 2010), pp. 239-264


  • Gilbert & George: Major Exhibition (London: Tate, 2007), author and editor of bibliography, biography and other endmatter for the Tate catalogue, pp. 198–208

Recent grants

Other academic activity

  • Deputy Director for Research, Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art
  • Editor, British Art Studies
  •  British Specialist Subject Network (Tate, funded by the Arts Council England) Steering Committee
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Courtauld Association Committee

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