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Matthew Potter

Reader in Art and Design History

Department: Arts

Matthew joined Northumbria University in October 2011. After completing an undergraduate degree in Modern History, he studied art history at a postgraduate level at the Courtauld Institute and Birkbeck College.

0191 2273671


PhD, History of Art, University of London, 2004; MA, History of Art, University of London, 1999; BA, History (Hons), University of Oxford, 1998.

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

Matthew researches visual cultural history, with a special focus on national identity in the period 1850 to 1939. He has published on aspects of art history in relation to Anglo-German cultural exchange and the British Empire. He also works on the educational history of the process of teaching art history within art schools.

Current/Recent Projects

November 2012: Philip Leverhulme Prize for ‘Visual culture and the construction of national identities’ (£70000); 

November 2011: Paul Mellon Publication Grant (Author) towards illustration costs for The Inspirational Genius of Germany: British Art and Germanism, 1850-1939 (MUP) (£1500);

November 2011: Arts and Humanities Research Council: Early Career Fellowship for ‘Politics, Patriotism and Painting: The policies and practice of Australian National Galleries for the acquisition of British pictures, 1860 to 1930’ (£83,587 with 80% (£66,870) payable to University);

March 2010: Australian National University 2011 Visiting Fellowship with grant for ‘The Contribution of Germanic Settlers to Visual Culture in Australia, 1850-1950’ (c. £5000);  

April 2009: Principal Investigator and Supervisor: AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award: ‘J.M.W. Turner and German Romanticism: The Influence of German Thought on the Work and Reception of Turner’ (University of Leicester and Tate)

Key Publications

'Breaking the shell of the humanist egg: Kenneth Clark’s University of London lectures on German art historians', Journal of Art Historiography No. 11 (December 2014):;

'Fostering in the People the Purest Types of Beauty: Ford Madox Brown and Democratic Art Education', Visual Culture in Britain 15:3 (2014), pp. 313-33;

(Ed.) The concept of the 'Master' in art education in Britain and Ireland, 1770 to the present (Farnham: Ashgate, 2013), [];  

The Inspirational Genius of Germany: British Art and Germanism, 1850-1939 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2012), []; 

‘Orientalism and its Visual Regimes: Lovis Corinth and Imperialism in the Art of the Kaiserreich’, in J. Kromm and S. Bakewell (eds.), A History of Visual Culture: Western Civilization from the 18th to the 21st Century (New York: Berg, 2010), 243-254; 

‘Cambridge University and the intellectual bridge to Germany’, in G. Brockington (ed.), Internationalism and the Arts, (Oxford and Bern: Peter Lang, 2009), 157-77;

‘British Art and Empire: Holman Hunt’s The Light of the World reflected in the mirror of the colonial press’, Media History (Volume 13, no. 1, April 2007), pp. 1-23;  

‘Materialism and the mark of modernity in the work of G.F. Watts’, British Art Journal (volume 7, no. 3, Winter 2006/7), pp. 70-78.

Further Information

Member of the AHRC Peer Review College, tenure 2014-17; 

Grants Management Working Group, 2013-2015;

Member of the Faculty of Arts, Design and Social Sciences, Grants Peer Review College

Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, elected November 2012;

Association of Art Historians Steering Committee, ‘Further & Higher Education’, 2012-2016;

Periodic Review Panel member for Art History, Drama and Music, University of Manchester, 2015;

External Examiner for University of Glasgow (MA History of Art programme), 2015-present;

External Examiner for University of Manchester (BA Art History and Visual Studies programme), 2010-2014;

External Examiner for University of Surrey (BA Humanities programme), 2008-2012.

To view my Northumbria Research Link page click here


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