Job title: Reader, History of Art

Role: Director International and Senior Curator at the Scottish National Gallery

Tel: +44 (0)131 650 2308 or +44 (0)131 624 6507


Research: See Dr Frances Fowle on Edinburgh Research Explorer

ECA International Director, Reader in History of Art and Senior Curator of French art at the Scottish National Gallery.

Frances has a joint post with the University of Edinburgh and the National Galleries of Scotland. Her specialist area is European and American nineteenth-century art, with an emphasis on collecting, the art market, national identity, cultural revival and artistic networks.

She began her career working for Sotheby's auctioneers and, briefly, as an arts journalist. She gained her PhD at the University of Edinburgh in 1994 and has taught at the universities of Aberdeen, Glasgow and at Edinburgh College of Art. She worked in the curatorial department at Tate Britain before joining the National Galleries of Scotland in 2001. She was appointed to her current post in 2005.

She is Senior Trustee of the Burrell Collection in Glasgow and sits on the Burrell Renaissance Board. She is a founding Board member of the International Art Market Studies Association and is on the steering committee for the European Revivals Research Network, initiated by the Ateneum Art Museum, Helsinki, in 2010. She is also on the editorial board of the Journal of the Scottish Society for Art History and is a Group Leader (Continental post-1800) for Art UK.

Current projects

Frances recently curated Daubigny, Monet, Van Gogh: Impressions of Landscape, a collaboration between the Taft Museum, Cincinnati, the National Galleries of Scotland and the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (2016-17). She also curated the Celtic revival section of Celts: Art and Identity (*****The Guardian), British Museum and National Museums of Scotland 2015-16). The catalogue was shortlisted for the Current Archaeology Book of the Year 2017.

Frances is editor of Nordic Artists Colonies 1870-1920, a special edition of Art in Translation (Taylor & Francis), published in two volumes in June and December 2017. She is also co-editor (with Marja Lahelma) of The Idea of North: Myth-Making and Identities, to be published by The Birch and the Star in 2017.

Publications / exhibitions

Frances is the author of Van Gogh's Twin: the Scottish Art Dealer Alexander Reid (1854-1928) (2010) and co-author of S.J. Peploe (Yale 2013). Edited books include Monet and French Landscape (Edinburgh 2006) (see full list of publications below). She has curated and contributed to several major international exhibitions. These include Degas and America: The Early Collectors (Atlanta, Minneapolis 2001) Alfred Sisley: Poet of Impressionism (Ferrara, Madrid, Lyon 2002); Patrick Geddes: the French Connection (2004); Gauguin's Vision (2005); Van Gogh and Britain: Pioneer Collectors (2006); Impressionism and Scotland (2008); Van Gogh to Kandinsky: Symbolist Landscape in Europe 1880-1910 (Amsterdam, Edinburgh, Helsinki 2012-13); American Impressionism: A New Vision 1880-1900 (Giverny, Edinburgh, Madrid 2014-2015), supported by the Terra Foundation; The Glasgow Boys: Schots impressionisme 1880-1900 (Drents Museum, Assen, Netherlands, 2015-16).

Research projects

Impressionism, Scotland and the art market

Shifting Impressionist studies to Scotland for the first time, this research carried out by Dr Frances Fowle (2005-12) stimulated debate about Impressionism and Scottish national identity.

French and British nineteenth century; Collecting and Art Market; Networks and Artists' Colonies; Celtic Revival and northern identity

Current PhD students

PhD Supervision Topics

  • French and British nineteenth century
  • Collecting and Art Market
  • Networks and Artists' Colonies
  • Celtic Revival
  • Northern identity