Politics, Patriotism and Painting: the acquisition of British pictures by Australian National Galleries, 1860-1949 (AHRC ECR Fellowship), November 2011:
This project was supported by the Translating Cultures AHRC call. I explored the negotiation of Australia’s British cultural identity during the latter part of the nineteenth and earlier part of the twentieth centuries through the lens of the acquisition ambitions and practices of the Australian National Galleries in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Perth and Queensland. My findings challenge the commonly-held belief that art collecting was focused on British painting primarily due to imperial pressures exerted on Australia by various forces in the UK. In order to understand why Australian galleries acquired British art enthusiastically I analysed the various reasons for why Australians wanted to collect British art based on archival evidence from institutions in both countries. I examined how the desirability of British works changed over time in response to geopolitical, social and economic factors, and how multiple British identities in art existed without major obstacles, due to the ability of galleries and their audiences to ‘translate’ the meanings of these works for their own purposes.
This project resulted in a blog entry for the AHRC: https://ahrc-blog.com/2018/03/12/how-commonwealth-day-brought-works-of-art-to-the-other-side-of-the-world/ in 2018, my monograph on British Art for Australia: The acquisition of artworks from the United Kingdom by Australian national galleries, 1860-1953 (New York and London: Routledge, 2019), and a forthcoming online open access book collecting virtual exhibition displays on the AHRC Translating Cultures research theme.
The Afterlife of Georgian Political Cartoons
November 2012: Philip Leverhulme Prize for Visual culture and the construction of national identities:
This project focuses on how British political cartoons from the Georgian period enjoyed cultural significance far beyond their original ephemeral function and local geographical focus. (Please see Leverhulme Trust Annual Report 2012 ‘Awards in Focus’, p.34 for more information on the award.) I am interested in the afterlife of the cartoons as objects used by artists, curators, historians and others nationally and internationally through time. This work has resulted in my article on ‘“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), 172-193, and a Lewis Walpole Library: LWL/Beinecke Visiting Fellowship) (14 March 2020), and will form the basis of my next monograph project.