Dr Kathryn Brown

  • Senior Lecturer in Art History and Visual Culture

Kathryn holds a D.Phil in French (University of Oxford) and a PhD in Art History (University of London). Prior to joining Loughborough in 2016, she was a Lecturer in Art History at Tilburg University in the Netherlands. She is a Rhodes Scholar and has taught and held visiting fellowships at the University of Kent (United Kingdom), the University of British Columbia (Canada), Tulane University (USA), the Humanities Research Centre of the Australian National University, and the Center for Advanced Studies in Visual Art (Washington DC).

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

From 2010–2014 she was a member of the International Committee of the College Art Association. She has served as a member of the editorial board of H-France and was a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences Foresight Committee in 2014. From 2010–2014, she chaired the Modern and Contemporary Art section of the Dutch Research School in Art History. She is the Series Editor of Contextualizing Art Markets for Bloomsbury Academic.

At Loughborough she convenes a research group on Museums, Markets and Critical Heritage. This group is a forum for the exchange of ideas about art markets, exhibition histories, museums, and public and private collecting practices. By bringing together the perspectives of academics, artists, curators, collectors, and dealers, the group engages critically with the histories and futures of cultural heritage from a range of trans-national perspectives.

Kathryn is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She has served as an external PhD examiner for the Australian National University, The University of Birmingham, and the University of Edinburgh. She has also been an internal examiner at Loughborough University. She is the external examiner for the Art Market & Appraisal MA at Kingston University.

Kathryn's research interests range from 19th- and 20th-century French painting and literature to artists’ books, modernism, contemporary art, the art market, and digital art history. She is a specialist in the works of Henri Matisse and Edgar Degas. Her books include Women Readers in French Painting 1870–1890 (Routledge 2012), Matisse’s Poets: Critical Performance in the Artist’s Book (Bloomsbury Academic, 2017) and Henri Matisse: A Critical Life (Reaktion, 2021). In addition to her journal articles, book chapters, and catalogue essays, she has edited numerous essay collections including: The Art Book Tradition in Twentieth-Century Europe (Routledge, 2013), Interactive Contemporary Art: Participation in Practice (I.B. Tauris, 2014), Perspectives on Degas (Routledge, 2017) and Digital Humanities and Art History (Routledge, 2020).

Her current research focuses on intersections between art markets and museums; the histories and legacies of New York Dada; and the print culture of the Harlem Renaissance. She is also developing her research on the work of Edgar Degas and Henri Matisse. 

In recent years, her research has been funded by the Terra Foundation for American Art, The Independent Social Research Foundation, The Shpilman Center for Photography, the Institut national d’histoire de l’art, French Studies, and the Association for Art History. She has held visiting fellowships at the Humanities Research Centre of the Australian National University, Tulane University, and the Center for Advanced Studies in Visual Art in Washington DC.

Her teaching at Loughborough focuses on visual culture, modern and contemporary art, and museum and art market studies.

Kathryn's current postgraduate research students include:

  • Franziska Wilmsen: Commissioning the Contemporary: Museum Brands, Art Trends, and Creative Networks
  • Jennifer Hankin: Imagining Utopia in Contemporary Art
  • Tom Nys: Countering Abortion Stigma through the Arts
  • Mikaela Assolent: Cultural Mediation as a Practice of Challenging Audience Behaviour and Identity in Contemporary Art Institutions
  • Sophia Kier-Byfield: Feminist Pedagogy and the Neo-Liberal University
  • Yoram Eshkol-Rokach: The Phenomenon of the Private Contemporary Art Museum in the Global Art World: Ownership, Philanthropy and Ethics

Books (single author)

  • 2021 Matisse: A Critical Life (Reaktion)
  • 2017 Matisse’s Poets: Critical Performance in the Artist’s Book (Bloomsbury Academic)
  • 2012 Women Readers in French Painting 1870–1890: A Space for the Imagination (Routledge)

Books (editor and contributor)

  • 2020 Companion to Digital Humanities and Art History (Routledge)
  • 2016 Perspectives on Degas (Routledge)
  • 2014 Interactive Contemporary Art: Participation in Practice (I.B. Tauris)
  • 2013 The Art Book Tradition in Twentieth–Century Europe: Picturing Language (Routledge)

Journal Special Issues (editor and contributor)

  • 2020 Art Markets and Museum Futures, Journal of Visual Art Practice (Fall).
  • 2019 Politics and the Art Market, Journal of Art Market Studies, vol. 3, no. 1.

Refereed Articles

  • 2019 ‘Collage as Form and Idea in the Art Criticism of Tristan Tzara’, French Studies (Oxford University Press). 
  • 2019 'Private Influence, Public Goods and the Future of Art History’, Journal of Art Market Studies, vol. 3, no. 1. 
  • 2018 ‘Degas in Pieces: Form and Fragment in the Late Bather Pastels’ in Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide, 17: 2 (October).
  • 2016 ‘Framing Disaster: Word and Image in Tacita Dean’s The Russian Ending’, Journal of the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, vol. 31 (June), 121–45.
  • 2015 ‘Against Autobiography: Henri Matisse’s Writings on Art’, Life Writing (Taylor & Francis), 12:1, 43–58.
  • 2014 ‘Touch and Vision in Edgar Degas’s Darkfield Monotypes’, Print Quarterly, XXXI, no. 4 (December), 395–405
  • 2014 ‘Egyptian Voyages: Gustave Flaubert, Maxime Du Camp, and Fouad Elkoury’, History of Photography (Taylor & Francis), 38:2, 161–72.
  • 2014 ‘Art and Epistemic Injustice: Ursula Biemann’s Remote Sensing and Black Sea Files’, Art and the Public Sphere, 3:1, 45–62.
  • 2013 ‘Remembering the Occupation: La Mort et les statues by Pierre Jahan and Jean Cocteau’, Forum for Modern Language Studies (Oxford University Press), 49:3, 286–99.
  • 2013 ‘Undoing Urban Modernity: Contemporary Art’s Confrontation with Waste’, European Journal of Cultural Studies (Sage Publications), 16:6, 678–91.
  • 2010  ‘The Aesthetics of Presence: Looking at Degas’s Bathers’, The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 68:4, Fall, 331–41.