School of the Arts, English and Drama

School staff

Dr Kathryn Brown

Photo of Dr Kathryn Brown

Lecturer in Art History and Visual Culture

I hold a D.Phil in French (University of Oxford) and a PhD in Art History (University of London). Prior to joining Loughborough in 2016, I was a Lecturer in Art History at Tilburg University in the Netherlands. I am a Rhodes Scholar and have taught and held visiting fellowships at the University of Kent (United Kingdom), the University of British Columbia (Canada), Tulane University (USA), and the Humanities Research Centre of the Australian National University.

My research interests range from 19th- and 20th-century French painting and literature to artists’ books, modernism, contemporary art, and the art market. My latest book is Matisse’s Poets: Critical Performance in the Artist’s Book (Bloomsbury Academic, 2017). It offers a new account of Matisse’s position in the literary cross-currents of 20th-century France and shows how the livre d’artiste became the privileged means by which Matisse enfolded literature into his own idiom and demonstrated the centrality of his aesthetic to modernist debates about authorship and creativity. My other books include Women Readers in French Painting 1870–1890 (Ashgate, 2012) and (as editor and contributor) The Art Book Tradition in Twentieth-Century Europe (Ashgate, 2013), Interactive Contemporary Art: Participation in Practice (I.B. Tauris, 2014), and Perspectives on Degas (Routledge, 2017).

Prior to becoming an art historian I was a corporate lawyer in the City of London. During my 14-year career in the City, I led teams of lawyers on large-scale mergers and acquisitions, private equity transactions, and IPOs (initial public offerings). I became a partner in a leading international law firm in 2006. My legal career has provided me with an invaluable background to my recent work on the contemporary art market. It has also informed my teaching and publication in the field of law and popular culture.

I have reviewed manuscripts for Ashgate, Routledge, Bloomsbury Academic, Leuven University Press, Orbis Literarum, H-France, Journal of Curatorial Studies, Dix-Neuf, Nineteenth-Century Contexts, and The Journal of Art History.

I have reviewed research project proposals for the Flemish Research Council in Belgium, the Austrian Science Fund, the National Research Foundation in South Africa, and the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences.


I served on the International Committee of the College Art Association (2010– 2014). I was Chair of the Modern and Contemporary Art section of the Dutch Research School of Art History from 2011–14 and was a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences Foresight Committee on Art History (2012–13).

I am currently a member of the editorial board of H-France. I am the Series Editor of Contextualizing Art Markets for Bloomsbury Academic

My personal website is https://kathrynbrownarthistory.com

‘Henri Matisse’s Pasiphaé: Myth, Politics, War’, The Grolier Club, New York (June, 2017).

‘Dessiner les mots, entendre la couleur: Matisse, Jazz, et « l’échec » du livre: École normale supérieure, Paris, Séminaire Texte et Image, Groupe de Recherche à l’École (November, 2016).

Keynote: ‘Collage as Form and Idea: Tristan Tzara, Pablo Picasso, and Henri Rousseau’: Visual Dada International Conference, Bucharest (June, 2016).

La mise en scène de « l’histoire croisée » dans l’œuvre de Fiona Tan: Festival de l’histoire de l’art, Fontainebleau, France (May, 2015).

‘Reading and Disease in Madame Bovary and Nana’: Saint Louis University (April, 2015).

‘Women Readers in Nineteenth-Century French Painting’: Saint Louis University (March, 2015).

‘Degas and the Nude’: Tulane University, USA (March, 2015).

‘Henri Matisse’s Jazz on the Edge’: Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art/University of Edinburgh (December, 2014).

‘Making Money Making Art: From Rembrandt to Relational Aesthetics’, De Pont Museum, Tilburg (September, 2014).

‘Interpreting Women Readers in Nineteenth-Century French Painting’, Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp, Belgium (2013).

‘Fake, Real and Imaginary Cities: Fouad Elkoury’s Photographs of Egypt and the Emirates’, Humanities Research Centre, Australian National University, Canberra (2013).

Plenary Speaker: ‘Realism and Indifference: Manet, Degas, Courbet’, International Conference on Visual Culture, National Central University, Taiwan (2012).

‘The Aesthetics of Presence: Looking at Degas’s Bathers’, Art History Colloquium, Tulane University, USA (2009).

‘Urban Conspiracies: Seeing and Spying in the Works of Edgar Degas’: Invited Speaker series ‘Metropolitan Consumers’, University of British Columbia (2008).

PhD Supervision (Loughborough University): Susan Warner: Critical Citizenship, the ‘Citizen Artist’ and the Challenge to the Neo-Liberal Status Quo (current)

PhD external examiner: Australian National University

I welcome proposals from prospective postgraduate researchers in the following areas:  nineteenth-century French art, modernism in France, word-image relations in modern and contemporary art, artists’ books, art market, and participatory art practices.

I am Director of Research Degree Programmes in the School of Arts, English and Drama.

BA course (first year) Drawing: Discourses & Debates

BA course (first year) Introduction to Modern and Contemporary Art & Design

BA course (second year) Visual Culture Histories and Theories

BA course (second year) Contemporary Art and Aesthetics

MA course: Research Methodologies

Semester 2, 2017-18

Week 1: Thurs, 8 Feb 11am – 1pm

Week 2: Thurs, 15 Feb 2pm–4pm

Week 3: Tues, 20th Feb 1pm – 3pm

Week 4: Thurs 1 March, 12pm–1pm and 3pm–4pm

Week 5: Tues 7 March 1pm–2pm

Week 6: Tues 13 March 1pm–2pm and Thurs 15 March, 3pm–4pm

Week 7: Tues 17 April 1pm–2pm

Week 8: Tues 24 April, 1pm–2pm and Thurs 26 April, 3pm–4pm

Week 9: Tues 1 May 1pm–2pm

Week 10: Thurs 10 May 2pm–4 pm

Week 11: Tues 15 May, 1pm–2pm

Week 12: by appointment