Presented by Professor Elizabeth Prettejohn (University of York)
Liz Prettejohn is Professor of History of Art at the University of York. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, she studied American art and architecture at Harvard University, before moving to London to study British and French art at the Courtauld Institute. She has worked as Curator of Paintings and Sculpture at Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery and held chairs at the Universities of Plymouth and Bristol.
Liz is an active guest curator and has co-curated exhibitions on Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and John William Waterhouse. In 2011 she gave the Paul Mellon Lectures at the National Gallery, London, on ‘The National Gallery and the English Renaissance of Art’.
Her research early in her career was motivated by curiosity about the low status of British (especially Victorian) art in academic art history. Her books on the Pre-Raphaelites and the Aesthetic Movement assessed the achievements of Victorian artists and placed them in relation to European Modernism
Her books include: Frederic Leighton: Antiquity, Renaissance, Modernity (co-editor) (Yale University Press, 1999); Interpreting Sargent (Tate Publishing, 1998); Rossetti and his Circle (Tate Publishing, 1997); After the Pre-Raphaelites: Art and Aestheticism in Victorian England (editor) (Manchester University Press, Rutgers University Press, 1999); Beauty and Art 1750-2000 (Oxford University Press, 2005); The Art of the Pre-Raphaelites (Tate Publishing, Princeton University Press, 2000, 2007); Art for Art’s Sake: Aestheticism in Victorian Painting (Yale University Press, 2007); The Cambridge Companion to the Pre-Raphaelites (editor) (Cambridge University Press, 2012).
Her work on the critical fortunes of Victorian art has led to a more general interest in taste and aesthetics, explored in her books Beauty and Art 1750-2000 (2005) and The Modernity of Ancient Sculpture: Greek Sculpture and Modern Art from Winckelmann to Picasso (I.B. Tauris, 2012).
Liz is working on a book based on The Paul Mellon Lectures 2011, The National Gallery and the English Renaissance of Art. The book will explore the growth of interest in the art of the past in the nineteenth-century ‘age of museums’, with particular attention to the roles played by practising artists such as Rossetti, Burne-Jones, Whistler, Millais, and Leighton.
The talk is free and open to all. Drinks are served afterwards in the John Higgitt Gallery.