Cover Page


These invigorating reference volumes chart the influence of key ideas, discourses, and theories on art, and the way that it is taught, thought of, and talked about throughout the English-speaking world. Each volume brings together a team of respected international scholars to debate the state of research within traditional subfields of art history as well as in more innovative, thematic configurations. Representing the best of the scholarship governing the field and pointing toward future trends and across disciplines, the Blackwell Companions to Art History series provides a magisterial, state-of-the-art synthesis of art history.

  1. A Companion to Contemporary Art since 1945

    edited by Amelia Jones

  2. A Companion to Medieval Art

    edited by Conrad Rudolph

  3. A Companion to Asian Art and Architecture

    edited by Rebecca M. Brown and Deborah S. Hutton

  4. A Companion to Renaissance and Baroque Art

    edited by Babette Bohn and James M. Saslow

  5. A Companion to British Art: 1600 to the Present

    edited by Dana Arnold and David Peters Corbett

  6. A Companion to Modern African Art

    edited by Gitti Salami and Monica Blackmun Visonè

  7. A Companion to Chinese Art

    edited by Martin J. Powers and Katherine R. Tsiang

  8. A Companion to American Art

    edited by John Davis, Jennifer A. Greenhill and Jason D. LaFountain

  9. A Companion to Digital Art

    edited by Christiane Paul

  10. A Companion to Dada and Surrealism

    edited by David Hopkins

  11. A Companion to Public Art

    edited by Cher Krause Knight and Harriet F. Senie

  12. A Companion to Islamic Art and Architecture, Volume 1 and 2

    edited by Finbarr Flood and Gulru Necipoglu

  13. A Companion to Modern Art

    edited by Pam Meecham



I would like to thank my colleagues at UCL Institute of Education, University College London in the Department of Culture, Communication, and Media and more specifically the Art, Design, and Museology group who have contributed to this volume in numerous ways through conversations, reading of drafts, and their committed teaching. They include Nicholas Addison, Andy Ash, Lesley Burgess, Annie Davey, Tom Jones, John Reeve, and Claire Robins to whom I owe a debt for their collegiate enthusiasm for this project. I also wish to thank Lesley Gourlay, Head of Department, for her unqualified enthusiasm for this project. I am also in debt to the department's present and former students who have brought new international perspectives to my understanding of modern art and modernism. To departmental technical staff, Jessica Barr, Kelvin Gwilliam, and Peter Thomas as always I am grateful for their unfailing practical support. While it is invidious to single out an individual a special mention needs to be made of Josephine Borradaile for her unending patience, attention to detail, and organizational skills.

My thanks go to staff at Wiley Blackwell. In the first instance, Jayne Fargnoli for commissioning this volume and for providing enthusiastic support throughout the early stages of its development. Juliet Booker, Emily Corkhill, Mary Hall, Rebecca Harkin, Catriona King, Julia Kirk, Rosemary Morlin, Jake Opie, Denisha Sahadevan, and Kat Wong have also provided guidance throughout the long process of working on the Companion. For her diligent work in tracing sometimes obscure images a special thanks goes to Caroline Hensman, the Companion's picture researcher.

Conversations, seminars, conferences are too many to mention but I would like to acknowledge the level of interest people have taken in this Companion in particular conversations with colleagues in Australia, Cyprus, Malta, Singapore and the United States. And of course a special thanks to the authors in the Companion who have delivered innovative and stimulating chapters and revisions of revisions with good humor. It has been a pleasure to work with and learn from such a wide range of authors whose experience and historical understanding of art in the modern period has been illuminating.

My personal thanks as always go to my sons David and Joseph and to Neil Hall to whom this book is dedicated.

London, June 2018

Notes on Contributors

Nicholas Addison is course leader in the Teaching and Learning Exchange, University of the Arts, London (UAL). He has published extensively on art education, particularly in relation to critical studies within secondary education. His research and other publications examine the interface between art practices and theories of subjectivity and meaning making. He is concerned to map the possibilities of art practice as a mode of research within education drawing on activity theory and critical pedagogy to understand how cultural activities can inform and transform everyday practices. He is leading a research project examining residual, dominant, and emergent pedagogies at UAL.

Laura Back is currently Design Integrity Officer at Australian Parliament House, Canberra, and is co-author of Moments in Time: Dioramas at the Australian War Memorial (2008). She was formerly Curator of Sculpture at the Australian War Memorial, and Curator of Australian and International Decorative Arts and Design at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston, Tasmania.

Fionna Barber is Reader in Art History in the Manchester School of Art. Her publications include Art in Ireland since 1910 (Reaktion 2013) and she is the editor with Heidi Hanson and Sara Dybris McQuaid of the forthcoming collection Ireland and the North to be published by Peter Lang in 2017. She is currently working on a study of women artists' responses to revolution and reconstruction in early twentieth-century Ireland.

Greta Berman is the Professor of Art History at the Juilliard School. Her doctoral dissertation (PhD, Columbia University 1975) was on WPA murals in New York City. She has curated numerous shows, including one on Realism during Abstract Expressionism (Rutgers Zimmerli Art Museum 1982) with Jeffrey Wechsler. The catalogue for the show, Realism and Realities: The Other Side of American Painting, 1940–1960, was published in 1982 by Rutgers University Press. Her current work focuses primarily on art/music connections and synesthesia.

Judith Brocklehurst is an artist, writer, and researcher based in London. She studied sculpture in Dresden, from 1993–1995. Her practice based PhD, was completed in 2017 at the UCL Institute of Education, University College London: it investigated historical urban space through social media photography.

Whitney Davis is George C. and Helen N. Pardee Professor of History and Theory of Ancient and Modern Art at the University of California at Berkeley. He is the author of seven books and over one hundred articles on prehistoric, ancient, and modern arts. His book, A General Theory of Visual Culture (Princeton University Press 2011), received the monograph prize of the American Society for Aesthetics.

Angela Dimitrakaki is Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Art History and Theory, University of Edinburgh. Her books include ECONOMY: Art, Production and the Subject in the 21st Century (co-edited with Kirsten Lloyd 2015); Gender, ArtWork and the Global Imperative: A Materialist Feminist Critique (2013); Politics in a Glass Case: Feminism, Exhibition Cultures and Curatorial Transgressions (edited with Lara Perry 2013) and, in her native Greek, Art and Globalisation: From the Postmodern Sign to the Biopolitical Arena (2013).

Anna Green has spent her working life teaching in museums and universities: from Dulwich Picture Gallery to Norwich Castle Museum; from the Open University to Norwich University of the Arts, and the University of East Anglia. Her particular areas of academic interest begin with nineteenth-century French painting and Childhood Studies, but also include: Museum Education; the “Norwich School”; and seventeenth-century Dutch still life. Key publications include: French Paintings of Childhood and Adolescence, 1848–1886 (Ashgate 2007); and “The Norwich School of Artists,” and “Still Life,” in A Vision of England (Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service 2013).

Jonathan Harris is Professor in Global Art and Design Studies and Head of Birmingham School of Art, Birmingham City University. Harris is author and editor of twenty books, including The New Art History: A Critical Introduction (Routledge 2001), Writing Back to Modern Art: After Greenberg, Fried and Clark (Routledge 2005), Globalization and Contemporary Art (Wiley-Blackwell 2011) and The Utopian Globalists: Artists of Worldwide Revolution, 1919–2009 (Wiley-Blackwell 2013). Harris has taught or lectured at many universities worldwide, including UCLA, Northwestern, Harvard, Edinburgh, London, Copenhagen, Aarhus, Barcelona, Warburg Institute Hamburg, St Petersburg Architects' House, Tsinghua, Zhejiang, Hong Kong City, Western Australia and Sydney.

Wiebke Leister is a German artist and writer based in London. She is course leader for MA Photography at London College of Communication, co-organizer of the Photography and the Contemporary Imaginary Research Hub and core member of the Photography and the Archive Research Centre at University of the Arts, London. Her research investigates conditions of photographic Non-Likeness, in particular presentations of expressive signs of the face in relation to its facial canvas.

Andrew McNamara is an art historian and Professor of Visual Arts at Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane. His publications include: SweatThe Subtropical Imaginary (2011); An Apprehensive Aesthetic (2009); Modern Times: The Untold Story of Modernism in Australia, with Ann Stephen and Philip Goad (2008). He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities.

Pam Meecham is a Professor of Museum Studies at UCL Institute of Education, University College London. She has lectured worldwide on a range of museum and art history related subjects and published widely on visual culture, art history, and museum and gallery education.

Annika Öhrner, Associate Professor at Södertörn University, Stockholm, defended her dissertation Barbro Östlihn and New York, Art's Space and Possibilities, at Uppsala University in 2010. Her research interests and publications include topics on early twentieth-century avant-garde formations and art from the 1960s to the present. Öhrner has curated several exhibitions including retrospectives of Meret Oppenheim (2004) and Siri Derkert (2011) at Stockholm's Moderna Museet and initiated international research networks and symposia, such as The European Artistic Avant-garde c. 1910–1930: Formations, Networks and Trans-national Strategies (2013) and Art in Transfer and Curatorial Practices and Transnational strategies in the Era of Pop (2014).

Nicos Philippou is author of Coffee House Embellishments and co-editor of Re-envisioning Cyprus and Photography and Cyprus: Time, Place, Identity. His writings on photography and vernacular culture have been published in journals, art magazines, and collected volumes. As a photographer he has participated in several exhibitions in Cyprus and abroad. He is currently lecturing at the Communications Department of the University of Nicosia and writing his PhD thesis: Photography, Ideology and the Construction of Cypriotness.

Briley Rasmussen is Assistant Professor and Director of Museum Studies at the University of Florida. Her research explores the history of education practices in art museums, centering on the intersections of art history, museum history, museum education and artistic practice. Recently, she has been examining the educational mission and programs of the Museum of Modern Art from 1929–1969, looking at the ways in which these programs were integral to how the museum was presenting and defining modern art in this period.

Claire Robins is a Reader in Art and Education at UCL Institute of Education, University College London, where she leads the MA Art and Design in Education and supervises PhD students. Her research interests span contemporary art, curatorial practices, gallery/museum education, and art education. She has written widely across the intersection of these fields of study. Her book, Curious Lessons in the Museum: The Pedagogic Potential of Artists' Interventions, was published by Ashgate in 2013. She is currently researching the ways in which key twentieth-century exhibitions influenced developments in art education.

Julie Sheldon is Professor of Art History at Liverpool John Moores University, where she is also Dean of the Graduate School. Her books include: Modern Art: A Critical Introduction (2nd edition, 2004) and Making American Art (2008) (both co-authored with Pam Meecham); Art in a City Revisited (co-edited with Bryan Biggs); The Letters of Elizabeth Rigby, Lady Eastlake (2009); Art for the Nation: The Eastlakes in the Victorian Art World (2011) (with Susanna Avery-Quash); and The Della Robbia Pottery: From Renaissance to Regent Street (2015).

Rosemary Shirley is a Senior Lecturer in Art History and Curating at Manchester School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University. She is author of the book Rural Modernity, Everyday Life and Visual Culture (Ashgate 2015) and she has contributed chapters to the edited collections: Affective Landscapes in Art, Literature and Everyday Life (2015) and Transforming the Countryside (2016). Her research centers on everyday life and visual cultures in historical and contemporary rural contexts.

Nick Stanley is Emeritus Professor in the Faculty of Art, Design and Media, Birmingham City University and currently an Honorary Research Fellow at the British Museum, Department of Africa, Oceania and the Americas. His research is mainly in museums in the western Pacific.

Ann Stephen is Senior Curator, University Art Gallery, University of Sydney. Her books include: On Looking at Looking: The Art and Politics of Ian Burn (2006); and J. W. Power in Europe: Abstraction-Création with ADS Donaldson (2012). She is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities.

Elena Stylianou is an Assistant Professor in Art and Art History at the European University Cyprus. She earned her Doctorate from Teachers College, Columbia University, NY (2004–2007) with a specialization in Art Theory. She has taught at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and the Museum of the City of New York. The recipient of numerous fellowships and awards she has published widely on contemporary art, museums, photography, and archives. Most recently she co-edited Museums and Photography: The Display of Death, published by Routledge in 2017.

Renja Suominen-Kokkonen, PhD, is adjunct Professor at the Universities of Turku and Helsinki, and Senior Lecturer in Art History at the University of Helsinki, and was Director of the Finnish Doctoral Program for Art History from 2009 to 2013. She has published monographs and articles on the formation of the architectural profession in Finland and on early women architects. Her research includes articles and a monograph on modern architecture, especially on Aino Marsio-Aalto's and Alvar Aalto's collaboration, Aino and Alvar Aalto – A Shared Journey (2007). Her publications in English include an edited volume on the history of art-historical research in Finland, The Shaping of Art History (2007), and she is the editor and contributor to The Challenges of Biographical Research in Art History Today (2013).

Colin Trodd is Senior Lecturer in Art History at the University of Manchester. He is author and editor of several books, including Victorian Art and the Idea of the Grotesque (1999), Art and the Academy (2000), Governing Cultures (2000), Representations of G. F. Watts (2004) and Visions of Blake: William Blake in the Art World 1830–1930 (2012). He has co-edited three Special Editions of Visual Culture in Britain: Victorian History Painting? (2005), Ford Madox Brown and the Victorian Imagination (2014) and William Blake: The Man from the Future (forthcoming).

Naoko Uchiyama is a PhD candidate in art history at UCL Institute of Education, University College London: studying the formation of cultural images in modern sculpture with a special interest in artists' itinerancy and shifting identities.

Leon Wainwright is Reader in Art History at The Open University, UK and the author of Phenomenal Difference: A Philosophy of Black British Art (Liverpool University Press 2017), Timed Out: Art and the Transnational Caribbean (Manchester University Press 2011), and editor or co-editor of numerous books and collections on modern and contemporary art, museology and anthropology. A former long-standing member of the editorial board of the journal Third Text, and founding editor of the Open Arts Journal, he is a recipient of the Philip Leverhulme Prize in the History of Art.

Liz Wells writes and lectures on photographic practices, and is also a freelance exhibition curator. She edited Photography: A Critical Introduction (2015, 5th ed.), The Photography Reader (2003), and is a co-editor for photographies, Routledge journals. Publications on land and environment include Land Matters, Landscape Photography, Culture and Identity (2011). She is Professor in Photographic Culture, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Plymouth University, UK, and a Visiting Professor, Belfast School of Art, University of Ulster.

Richard J. Williams is Professor of Contemporary Visual Cultures at the University of Edinburgh. He has published widely on the visual cultures of cities, and the legacy of architectural modernism in particular. His books include Sex and Buildings (London: Reaktion Books 2013).

Paul Wood is a Research Associate at the Open University, UK. His publications include Western Art and the Wider World (2014) and Conceptual Art (2002). He is co-editor with Charles Harrison and Jason Gaiger of Art in Theory (1992–2003), a three-volume anthology of changing ideas about art from the founding of the French Academy in 1648 to 2000.