Professor Elizabeth Prettejohn
Former Professor of History of Art
BA (Harvard), MA, PhD (London)
Liz Prettejohn left the Department in August 2012, to become Head of History of Art at the University of York.
Liz Prettejohn studied at Harvard University and the Courtauld Institute of Art. Before joining the University of Bristol in 2005, she was Professor of Modern Art at the University of Plymouth; previously she was curator of Paintings and Sculpture at Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery. Prettejohn is a member of Tate Britain Council, Tate Collections Committee, the Advisory Council of The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, the Advisory Board of the Cambridge Victorian Studies Group, and the Editorial Board of Art History; she is an Editorial Consultant for the Journal of Victorian Culture.
Professor Prettejohn will deliver The Paul Mellon Lectures 2011 at The National Gallery, London, Mondays 17 January-14 February 2011, 6.30-7.30 p.m. For further information on this lecture series, entitled ‘The National Gallery and the English Renaissance of Art’, see www.paul-mellon-centre.ac.uk.
Prettejohn’s current projects include a book, The Modernity of Ancient Sculpture: Greek Sculpture and Modern Art from Winckelmann to Picasso (forthcoming from I.B. Tauris in the series New Directions in Classics), and an edited volume, The Cambridge Companion to the Pre-Raphaelites.
Prettejohn is an active guest curator and has organised exhibitions with museums and galleries in the UK, Europe, and North America. Her co-curated exhibitions include:
- John William Waterhouse (2008-10)
- Dante Gabriel Rossetti (2003-4)
- Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1996-97)
- Imagining Rome (1996)
- Characters and Conversations: British Art 1900-1930 (1996-97)
Recently she has worked with the Museum Villa Stuck, Munich; Nationalmuseum, Stockholm; Henry Moore Institute, Leeds; and the Victoria and Albert Museum (see below for further details).
Receptions of ancient and Renaissance art; Victorian painting and sculpture; the Pre-Raphaelites; Victorian Aestheticism; Victorian and twentieth-century art criticism (particularly Walter Pater, Roger Fry); relationships between philosophical aesthetics and art practice.
Liz Prettejohn welcomes applications from students who wish to undertake research related to any of the research interests listed above. She currently supervises postgraduate research students working on artists such as:
- Lawrence Alma-Tadema
- Dante Gabriel Rossetti
- James McNeill Whistler
- Albert Moore
- Frederick Sandys
- Laura Knight
- Graham Sutherland;
And themes such as:
- Darwin and Aestheticism
- Interiors and costumes in Victorian Aestheticism
- The furniture of Crace & Co.
- Representations of women in Victorian magazine illustration.
- Art for Art’s Sake: Aestheticism in Victorian Painting, Yale University Press, 2007, Winner of the 2008 Historians of British Art Book Award in the Single-Author, Post-1800 category, presented by the Historians of British Art; shortlisted for the William MB Berger Prize for British Art History 2008 and the 2008 Sir Banister Fletcher Award presented by the Authors’ Club.
- Beauty and Art 1750-2000, Oxford History of Art series, Oxford University Press, 2005
- The Art of the Pre-Raphaelites, Tate Publishing and Princeton University Press, 2000; paperback edition 2007
- After the Pre-Raphaelites: Art and Aestheticism in Victorian England (editor) , Manchester Univeristy Press and Rutgers University Press, 1999
- Frederic Leighton: Antiquity, Renaissance, Modernity (co-editor, with Tim Barringer), Yale University Press, 1999
- Interpreting Sargent, Tate Publishing, 1998
- Rossetti and his Circle, Tate Publishing, 1997
- ‘Twenty-first Century Millais’, Victorian Literature and Culture 37, 2009, pp. 287-91
- ‘Solomon, Swinburne, Sappho’, Victorian Review 34, Fall 2008, pp. 103-28, nominated for the Donald Grey Prize
- ‘Art Writing Now’ (review article on T.J. Clark, The Sight of Death, and Peter de Bolla, Art Matters), Art History 30, November 2007, pp. 769-77
- ‘From Aestheticism to Modernism, and Back Again’, 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century, issue 2, Mary 2006
- ‘Lawrence Alma-Tadema and the Modern City of Ancient Rome’, Art Bulletin LXXXIV, March 2002, pp. 115-29
Curated exhibitions and associated catalogues
- J. W. Waterhouse (1849-1917): The Modern Pre-Raphaelite, Groninger Museum, Groningen, the Netherlands; Royal Academy of Arts, London; Montreal Museum of Fine Arts; co-curated with Peter Trippi, Robert Upstone, and Patty Wageman, 2008-10
- Dante Gabriel Rossetti, the Walker, Liverpool, and Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, co-curated with Julian Treuherz and Edwin Becker, 2003-04
- Adrian Stokes, Arnolfini, Bristol, June 2002
- Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, and Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, co-curated with Edwin Becker and others, 1996-97
- Imagining Rome: British Artists and Rome in the Nineteenth Century, Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery, co-curated with Michael Liversidge, 1996
- Characters and Conversations: British Art 1900-1930, Tate Gallery Liverpool, co-curated with Fiona Bradley, 1996-97
Contributions to Exhibitions and Exhibition Catalogues
- ‘Aestheticism in Painting’ and ‘Late Paintings’ in The Cult of Beauty: The Aesthetic Movement in Britain, Victoria and Albert Museum, April-July 2011
- ‘Lawrence Alma-Tadema: Phidias showing the frieze of the Parthenon to his friends’, in Penelope Curtis, On the Meanings of Sculpture in Painting, Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, 2009-10, pp. 106-8
- ‘Frederic Leightons Klassizismus’, in Margot Th. Brandlhuber and Michael Buhrs (eds), Frederic Lord Leighton 1830-1896: Maler und Bildhauer der viktorianischen Zeit, Museum Villa Stuck, Munich, 2009, pp. 32-77
- ‘Pre-Raphaelite Beauty’, in Mikael Ahlund (ed.), The Pre-Raphaelites, Nationalmuseum, Stockholm, 2009, pp. 53-65
- ‘Solomon’s Classicism’, in Colin Cruise and others, Love Revealed: Simeon Solomon and the Pre-Raphaelites, Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery, Museum Villa Stuck, Munich, and Ben Uri Gallery, The London Jewish Museum of Art, 2005-06
- ‘Images of the Past in Victorian Painting’, in Angus Trumble (ed.), Love and Death: Art in the Age of Queen Victoria, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, 2001, pp. 85-91
- ‘Out of the Nineteenth Century: Roger Fry’s Early Art Criticism, 1900-06’, in Christopher Green (ed.), Art Made Modern: Roger Fry’s Vision of Art, The Courtauld Gallery, London, 1999, pp. 31-44
- ‘La Real Academia Victoriana: Mercado moderno e institución tradicional’, in La era Victoriana: un siglo de pintura Británica, Museo Nacional de San Carlos, Mexico City, 1997, pp. 42-52
- ‘Checklist of Samuel Courtauld’s Acquisitions of Modern French Painitngs’ and ‘Modern Foreign Paintings and the National Art Collections: Anthology of British Texts, 1905-32’, in John House, Impressionism for England: Samuel Courtauld as Patron and Collector, Courtauld Institute Galleries, London, 1994, pp. 221-52
Other publications (selected)
- ‘Medea, Frederick Sandys, and the Aesthetic Moment’, in Heike Bartel and Anne Simon (eds), Unbinding Medea: Interdisciplinary Approaches to a Classical Myth from Antiquity to the 21st Century, Legenda, 2010, pp. 95-112
- ‘Art’, in Francis O’Gorman (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Victorian Culture, Cambridge University Press, 2010, pp. 195-218
- ‘Reception and Ancient Art: The Case of the Venus de Milo’, in Charles Martindale and Richard Thomas (eds), Classics and the Uses of Reception, Blackwell, 2006, pp. 227-49
- ‘The Pre-Raphaelite Model’, in Jane Desmarais, Martin Postle, and William Vaughan (eds), Model and Supermodel: The Artist’s Model in British Art and Culture, Manchester University Press, 2006, pp. 26-46
- ‘Between Homer and Ovid: Metamorphoses of the “Grand Style” in G.F. Watts’, in Colin Trodd and Stephanie Brown (eds), Representations of G.F. Watts: Art Making in Victorian Culture, Ashgate, 2004, pp. 49-64
- ‘The Modernism of Frederic Leighton’, in David Peters Corbett and Lara Perry (eds), English Art 1860-1914: Modern Artists and Identity, Manchester University Press, 2000, pp. 33-52
- ‘Leighton: The Aesthete as Academic’, in Rafael Cardoso Denis and Colin Trodd (eds), Art and the Academy in the Nineteenth Century, Manchester University Press, 2000, pp. 33-52
- ‘ “The monstrous diversion of a show of gladiators”: Simeon Solomon’s Habet!’, in Catharine Edwards (ed.), Roman Presences: Receptions of Rome in European Culture, 1789-1945, Cambridge University Press, 1999, pp. 157-72
- ‘Undermining the Archive’ (review article on Dianne Sachko Macleod’s Art and the Victorian Middle Class), Art History 20, December 1997, pp. 616-22
- ‘Aesthetic Value and the Professionalization of Victorian Art Criticism 1837-78’, Journal of Victorian Culture 2.1, Spring 1997, pp. 71-94
- ‘Locked in the Myth’ (review article on Tate Gallery exhibition and other publications on James McNeill Whistler), Art History 19, June 1996, pp. 301-7
- ‘Morality vs. aesthetics in critical interpretations of Frederic Leighton, 1855-1875’, Burlington Magazine CXXXVIII, February 1996, pp. 79-86
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