The VMC Research Group at Northumbria provides a dynamic hub for researchers and students engaged with the historical and theoretical analysis of art, culture, design, museums and architecture. The group acts as a forum to bring together researchers across the university and offers an annual programme of events relating to current issues in visual and material culture research
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Matthew Potter

Matthew is a historian of art and visual cultures whose work focuses on the roles played by internationalists in the creation of national identities in the period 1850-1945, primarily in interactions within the British World but also between the UK and other countries. His research addresses popular myths, stereotypes and historiographical conventions regarding art of the Victorian period and early twentieth century – for example Modernist parameters that have previously confined potential discourses in this field – and draws upon new interdisciplinary approaches, incorporating philosophical, literary and material art histories to revise historical understanding.

Other areas to which his research connects are the history of art education, historical painting and the history of public art collections.

After completing an undergraduate degree in Modern History, Matthew studied the History of Art at a postgraduate level. Between 2004 and 2011 he taught at Oxford Brookes, Plymouth, and Leicester Universities, before joining Northumbria University in October 2011.


Matthew C. Potter, ‘British Art and Empire: Holman Hunt’s The Light of the World reflected in the mirror of the colonial press’, Media History, 13:1 (April 2007), pp. 1-23;

Matthew C. Potter, ‘Orientalism and its Visual Regimes: Lovis Corinth and Imperialism in the Art of the Kaiserreich’, in Jane Kromm and Susan Benforado Bakewell, eds., A History of Visual Culture: Western Civilization from the 18th to the 21st Century (New York: Berg, 2009), pp. 243-254

Matthew C. Potter, The Inspirational Genius of Germany: British Art and Germanism, 1850-1939 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2012);

Matthew C. Potter, ed., The concept of the ‘Master’ in art education in Britain and Ireland, 1770 to the present (Farnham: Ashgate, 2013);

Matthew C. Potter, ‘Fostering in the people the purest types of beauty: Ford Madox Brown and democratic art education’, Visual Culture in Britain, 15:3 (Taylor and Francis: [November], 2014), pp. 313-333;

Matthew C. Potter, ‘Breaking the shell of the Humanist egg: Kenneth Clark’s University of London Lectures on German Art Historians’, in Journal of Art Historiography, 11 (December 2014), pp. 1-34 [access here].

Matthew C. Potter, British Art for Australia: The acquisition of artworks from the United Kingdom by Australian national galleries, 1860-1953 (London and NY: Routledge, 2019);

Matthew C. Potter, ‘“Bold Liberals Who Fought for the Cause of Freedom”: The German Reception of the Graphic Satires of James Gillray and Thomas Rowlandson at the Fin De Siècle (1895–1908)’, Visual Culture in Britain, 20.2 (July 2019), pp. 172-193 [access here].