Programme: History of Art - MPhil/PhD/MSc by Research

Start date: April 2011

Mode of study: Part time

Research title: The Representation of Norwegian women in Art, 1880-1913

Kitty Corbet Milward is a part time PhD Student with the University of Edinburgh. Her research addresses the way in which Norwegian artists responded to the changing roles of Norwegian women between 1880 and 1913, in both rural and urban areas in the southern and eastern parts of the country.

As Norway raced towards independence from Sweden, obtained in 1905, the surrounding decades witnessed intense and sometimes uneasy modernisation which affected women's traditional values and habits in private and public spaces. By considering the alternating issues and problems associated with coinciding developments in the concepts of national identity, class and society, religion, scientific reasoning and the notion of Nordic modernity, the thesis will attempt to re-evaluate the painted 'new' Norwegian female figure alongside her traditionally bound rural counterpart. It will question to what extent she became a symbol conditioned by progressive, regressive, private, public, honest and dissolute tensions in the thirty-three years prior to 1913, when Norway became the second country after Finland to award women the right to vote.

Before starting her PhD, Kitty was awarded an MA in Museum Studies at University College London in 2009. In 2006, she obtained an MA in History from the University of Edinburgh, for which she was awarded First Class Honours. In 2005, Kitty spent a year at the University of Granada, Spain, as a Socrates – Erasmus Student.

Kitty currently works part time for the Royal Academy of Arts, London, and previously held positions at the British Museum and the V&A Museum.


  • ‘From the Soil to the City: Norwegian Women in Late Nineteenth Century Art’: Research Seminar, Scandinavian Studies Department, The University of Edinburgh, November 2013.
  • Portraits of a Lady? Femininity in the Christiania Interior’: Making Room Symposium, Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art, Copenhagen, October 2013. 
  • Representations of Christiania's Working Class Woman at Century's End’: SASS Conference, UC Berkeley, March 2013. (Kindly Supported by the Norwegian Embassy in the United States of America, and an SASS President's Grant).


  • Yale Conference on Baltic and Scandinavian Studies, 2014, Yale University: Co-organiser of ‘Art as History, Art as Identity: Interdisciplinary Investigations in Visual Culture’. Sponsored by the Society of Historians of Scandinavia.

Publications / articles

  • ‘The Woman in Nineteenth Century Norwegian Literature’: London Library Magazine, Winter 2013.
  • The Astrup Fearnley Museet: Modern Art Sets Sail in Oslo Museum's New Home’: Royal Academy of Arts Magazine Website, November 2012.