Finally, I have won something better than the Kylie Minogue EP awarded to the best dancer under 6 at my 1991 primary school disco. I’ve been picked *trumpet fanfare* as one of the BBC and AHRC’s “New Generation Thinkers” for 2015, alongside nine other academics. Conquering broadcast media is the latest stage in my rise […]

*This paper was delivered at the British Society for Eighteenth Century Studies conference (Oxford, January 2015), with the title ‘Posthumous Portraiture: Nollekens, Gillray and the after-life of Sir George Savile’. The practice of developing posthumous portrait busts from plaster death masks highlights the relationship between the reality of death, and the desire to maintain the […]

I recently published a short piece on the sculptural nude in 18th century satirical prints, for the Royal College of Art’s splendid Unmaking Things blog – and you can read it here. It’s a précis of a longer, forthcoming essay (to be published next year) on connoisseurship, collecting and erotica, which promises plenty of lewdness and […]

If you hadn’t already caught it on the BBC, do watch Dr Richard Clay’s marvellous Tearing Up History – the story of art and iconoclasm in the French Revolution. (Richard was my MPhil supervisor, and I’m really chuffed that he’s getting this well-deserved recognition for his work).

I’m now contributing to Apollo regularly, mostly on museum issues and curatorial life (clue: this involves tea and dusty things). You can find my various wordsplurges here.

I’ve just started contributing to Apollo Magazine! My first piece is here, and others should follow soon (deo volente).

Just a note to say, as of next week (3 March) I will be taking a ‘guest curator’ spot on the We The Humanities Twitter account. The idea is to create something for the arts and humanities that works in a similar vein to @realscientists – each week, a different person working in the field […]

I find myself evaluating ‘what type’ of scholar I am, these days. Being in the process of professional transition – from university to museum, and from print culture to sculpture – I’m wondering what, exactly, constitutes the core of my academic self; and what threads of continuity I might grasp onto while significant parts of […]

One of the perks of working for a major national museum is the reciprocal agreement in place with other institutions to allow staff free or discounted entry to exhibitions. Notwithstanding the rain and gales last Saturday, I waded to Georgians Revealed at the British Library; followed by a brisk walk through Clerkenwell to the Museum […]

Stepping outside my academic comfort zone (prints, the 18th century, men in wigs), I’ve been mulling over the ethnographic busts by Charles Cordier which I saw in the Musée d’Orsay recently. In particular, Cordier’s Capresse des Colonies struck me as both a superb artistic feat, full of character and vivacity, and a fascinating site of […]