Job title: Honorary Fellow, History of Art

Email: ecummin1@ed.ac.uk

Elizabeth is a historian and curator of Scottish art and design. She started as a junior researcher on a national survey of Pictish symbol stones before spending twelve years as a fine art curator, first in Dundee and then in Edinburgh where, as the first Keeper of Fine Art Collections, she established the present City Art Centre in 1980. Expanding her research base during the 1980s, she taught design history at Edinburgh College of Art in the 1990s and has since been an independent scholar.

Elizabeth has represented the UK at design symposia in Norway, Japan and the USA. In 2003, as an invited Visiting Fellow at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, she delivered the first lecture series at the new Christchurch Art Gallery. She has served on the committees of many cultural institutions in her native Scotland, and is currently a trustee of the Mansfield Traquair Trust, the Scottish Stained Glass Trust and the Lorimer Society.

Elizabeth’s research covers both art and design. She has published widely on Scottish painters, including the Colourists, and the Arts and Crafts movement. Her study, Hand, Heart and Soul: the Arts and Crafts Movement in Scotland (2006) broke new ground. She has documented the life and work of Phoebe Anna Traquair HRSA (1852-1936). In all she has written more than over twenty books (with ten as single author) and catalogues on Scottish art or design as well as over forty book chapters and essays. These have been published in the UK, Ireland, France, the Netherlands, Norway, the USA, Japan and China.

In summer 2018 Elizabeth compiled the catalogue for an exhibition devoted to the sculpture of Phyllis Bone (1894-1972), the first woman Royal Scottish Academician, and in autumn 2018 Sansom and Company will publish her biographical study of the painter Sir Robin Philipson (1916-92).