School of the Arts, English and Drama

News and Events

9 March 2017

In Conversation: Mirror Mirror: Women’s Self-portraits

About this event

In celebration of International Women’s Day, Marsha Meskimmon, Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art History and Theory at Loughborough University, and Reader of Fine Art at the Slade, artist and author Liz Rideal discuss female self portraiture from the 17th to the 21st century. Liz Rideal will give an overview of the development of women’s self-portraits evidenced by works in the Gallery’s Collection, and Martha Meskimmon will present new perspectives on an old theme.

Marsha Meskimmon is Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art History and Theory at Loughborough and was Director of the School of the Arts from 2005-11. Her research has been recognised through the award of several international fellowships, including the Paul Mellon Visiting Senior Fellowship at the Centre for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA), at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, a Senior Research Fellowship at the Humanities Research Centre at The Australian National University, and a period of AHRC-funded research leave.

Most recently, she was Visiting Professor of Art History and Visual Studies at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden (2011-12). Marsha has served on various editorial boards, as a Panel Member for the AHRC and as a specialist advisor for a number of international Research Council applications and programmes, including Canada, Denmark and South Africa. She was Secretary of the UK’s national subject body, the Association of Art Historians, from 1999-2003 and she currently sits on the British National Committee of the international subject association for art history, CIHA [Comité International d'Histoire de l'Art]. With Amelia Jones, Marsha co-edits the Manchester University Press series, Rethinking Art’s Histories, the successor to the well-received series, Critical Perspectives in Art History, she co-edited with Shearer West and Tim Barringer. With Phil Sawdon, she co-edits the Creative Text section of the on-line arts magazine Stimulus → Respond. She is a consultant editor for the Open Arts Journal and, with Dr. Russell Marshall and Phil Sawdon, a general editor of the new series Drawing In (I.B. Tauris).

Liz Rideal completed a Foundation at Brighton Polytechnic in 1972/3, a BA Combined Honours in English and Fine Art at Exeter University and Exeter College of Art in 1973/76 and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education at Exeter University in 1978. From 1992 she has worked in the Painting Department at the Slade School of Fine Art. She is a practising artist working across media also creating temporary and permanent artworks in significant architectural spaces. She has worked at the NPG since 1982, curating, lecturing and writing educational resources. Her exhibitions at the Gallery include How do artists see themselves? (1991), Mirror/Mirror: Self-portraits by Women Artists (2001) and A Question of Identity: Self-portrait Photographs 1850 – 2000, (2006). Her books include How to Read Paintings: A Crash Course in Meaning and Method (Bloomsbury, 2014), Self-portraits (NPG 2005) and Mirror Mirror: Self-portraits by Women Artists (NPG, 2001).