History of Art and Visual Culture

About us

The group comprises scholars who bring an innovative interdisciplinary approach to the study of art and society. They investigate a wide range of visual, material and spatial cultures from the early modern period through to the digital age.

Research areas include:

  • The urban environments of Renaissance Italy
  • Material cultures of the Reformation
  • Early modern sculpture
  • Nineteenth-century landscape painting
  • Gender, space and reform in Edwardian Edinburgh
  • Modernity and architecture in 1920s and 1930s England
  • Visual, material and aural (sensorial) cultures of crime 
  • The materiality and wider viewing environments of art objects 
  • Joseph Wright of Derby

Members of the group are active in collaborative work with galleries such as Tate Britain, the Royal West of England Academy and the Ashmolean Museum and in hosting conferences and symposia.

"An Experiment On A Bird In The Air Pump [1768]" by Joseph Wright of Derby (cropped)

Related courses

Research impact

Tourist taking pictures in a museum

Professor Payne has curated six exhibitions since 2014 at institutions including the Royal West of England Academy, Bristol, the Higgins, Bedford and the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.

Support from the University has enabled us to work with institutions in developing activities around their exhibitions, thereby increasing their overall impact.

The Royal West of England Academy, Bristol, hosted conferences in 2014 and 2017 to discuss issues arising from the ‘Sea’ and ‘Air’ exhibitions. Study Days and workshops for families and teenagers were held at the Higgins Bedford.



Name Role Email
Dr Matthew Craske Reader in History of Art mcraske@brookes.ac.uk
Dr Peter Forsaith Research Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Methodism and Church History pforsaith@brookes.ac.uk
Dr Ian Holgate Programme Lead and Subject Coordinator, Foundation in Humanities iholgate@brookes.ac.uk
Dr Harry Mount Programme Lead for History and History of Art htmount@brookes.ac.uk
Dr Jane Stevens Crawshaw Deputy Head for Strategy and Development jane.stevens-crawshaw@brookes.ac.uk
Dr Kate West Senior Lecturer in Visual Criminology k.west@brookes.ac.uk