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Matthew Potter

Prof

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Personal profile

Biography

I am Professor of Art and Design History, Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange for the Department of Arts, and Academic Lead on the Northumbria University-Tyne and Wear Museums and Archives Partnership.

After completing my undergraduate degree in Modern History, at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, I studied the History of Art at a postgraduate level at the Courtauld Institute and Birkbeck College, University of London. Between 2004 and 2011 I taught at Oxford Brookes, Plymouth, and Leicester Universities, before joining Northumbria University in October 2011.

My research is on the history of visual culture, with a particular focus on the period between 1800 and 1950 and themes including art education, art collecting, historical art practices (artworks with historic subjects), and international cultural debates and exchanges, primarily in relation to the British World.

I teach on art historical and theoretical modules that feed into the BA Fine Art and MA Conservation programmes.

Research interests

My first monograph was The Inspirational Genius of Germany: British Art and Germanism, 1850-1939 (Manchester University Press: hardback: 2012; paperback: 2016) which used materials from fourteen UK archives to recover the British investigations of German art and artistic ideas overlooked by modern historians largely due to the geopolitics of the Cold War. I followed this with articles on topics including Germanism and art history at Cambridge University (2009); Kenneth Clark’s lectures on German art historians (2014: https://arthistoriography.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/potter.pdf); German art exhibitions in London, 1853-1934 (2018); the fin-de-siècle German reception of James Gillray and Thomas Rowlandson (2019); and Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s reception in Germany, 1873-1912 (2019).

I am the editor and a contributing author to The concept of the ‘Master’ in art education in Britain and Ireland, 1770 to the present (Ashgate: hardback: 2013; paperback: 2016). I have also written articles on the teaching activities of Ford Madox Brown and Kenneth Clark.

My second monograph was on British Art for Australia: The acquisition of artworks from the United Kingdom by Australian national galleries, 1860-1953 (Routledge, 2019). This used material from twelve Australian and five UK archives to explore, for the first time, the engagement of the five ‘national’ art galleries of the different regions of Australia with the UK art market. The history of their collecting activities offers insights into the cultural diplomacy Australians engaged in to negotiate their own hybrid British identity and relation to the British empire, challenging assumptions that Australian art galleries unquestioningly followed UK examples and instructions.

I am currently editing Representing the past in the art of the long nineteenth century: Historicism, Postmodernism, and Internationalism (Routledge, forthcoming 2021) which examines globalised visual historicism in the long nineteenth century, and am working on my third monograph on the afterlife of Georgian satirical cartoons: for details please see https://research.northumbria.ac.uk/VisualMaterialCultures/?page_id=590.

Education/Academic qualification

History of Art, PhD, Birkbeck University of London

1 Oct 19991 Apr 2004

Award Date: 1 Sep 2002

History of Art, MA, Courtauld Institute of Art

1 Oct 199831 Aug 1999

Award Date: 31 Aug 1999

History, BA (Hons), University of Oxford

1 Sep 199531 Aug 1998

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