Job title: Senior Lecturer and Chancellor's Fellow, History of Art
Role: ECA Director of Research
Tel: +44 (0) 131 651 7112
Office address: Room 0.47, Higgitt Gallery, Hunter Building
Contact time: Thursday, 11am - 12pm (appointment must be made in advance by email)
Research outputs: Dr Patricia Allmer on Edinburgh Research Explorer
Patricia is a leading scholar of surrealism, its modern traditions, and contemporary legacies.
Her new monograph on René Magritte will be published in 2019 (Reaktion Press, http://tinyurl.com/y3js628f), and she was the guest speaker for the 2017-18 Chaire Internationale Emile Bernheim programme (http://edin.ac/2HIZtgj).
Her most recent exhibition and publication project was 4 Saints in 3 Acts: A Snapshot of the American Avant-garde in the 1930s (Manchester University Press, http://edin.ac/2oRLSxU) at The Photographers' Gallery in London (2017-18). It focussed on photography's little-known contribution to the key modernist event of Gertrude Stein and Virgil Thomson's 1934 opera Four Saints in Three Acts, and explored the complex gender, race, and class relations in representations of the cast and crew by photographers including Lee Miller, Carl Van Vechten, and George Platt Lynes.
Her most recent monograph Lee Miller: Photography, Surrealism, and Beyond (http://tinyurl.com/hh8eezt) is published by Manchester University Press (2016).
Her edited collection Intersections: Women Artists/Surrealism/Modernism (MUP) came out in October 2016. Her illustrated This Is Magritte for Laurence King has been translated into German, Dutch, and Latvian, and was published in August 2016.
Her other major publications include René Magritte: Beyond Painting (MUP: 2009), and the co-edited collections Wonderful Things – Surrealism and Egypt’ (Dada/Surrealism, 20.1: 2013), European Nightmares: European Horror Cinema Since 1945 (Wallflower/Columbia University Press: 2012), Re/reading RE/Search (European Journal of American Culture, 30.2: 2011), Collective Inventions: Surrealism in Belgium (Leuven: 2007), and The Forgotten Surrealists: Belgian Surrealism Since 1924 (Image [&] Narrative 13: 2005).
Patricia curated and edited the catalogue for the award-winning major exhibition Angels of Anarchy: Women Artist and Surrealism (Manchester: 2009, Prestel) (http://tinyurl.com/mdlypd), and co-curated and co-edited the catalogue for Taking Shots: The Photography of William S. Burroughs (London: 2014, Prestel). She has directed and co-directed a range of public programmes accompanying these exhibitions and which now constitute open-access online resources (see http://tinyurl.com/k35pk5c). She has contributed widely to exhibition catalogues and other publications. In 2010 she won a Philip Leverhulme Prize in recognition of her major contribution to scholarship on surrealism.
Patricia serves on the AHRC Peer Review panel as an Academic, Strategic and International reviewer, has founded and leads the ECA Dada & Surrealism Research Group, and acts as a consultant on a range of national and international past and forthcoming exhibitions.
Patricia gained her PhD from Loughborough University in 2005. Prior to arriving in Edinburgh she held a senior research post at Manchester Metropolitan University. She initiated and convened the 2009 Association of Art Historians’ Conference in Manchester, and organized and chaired Judy Chicago’s Manchester lecture and masterclass in 2011. She has given several media appearances, most recently in ITV’s Perspectives documentary on Magritte (2014).
Grants and Awards
2018 The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh College of Art, Research and Knowledge Exchange Committee Fund
2016 US Embassy/British Association of American Studies Small Grant
2016 The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh College of Art, Research and Knowledge Exchange Committee Fund
2015 Terra Foundation Research Travel Grant
2014 The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh College of Art, Research and Knowledge Exchange Committee Fund
2014 The Royal Society of Edinburgh, Arts & Humanities Small Research Grant
2014 The Moray Endowment Fund
2012 Association of Art Historians Museums Bursary
2011 British Academy, Small Research Grant
2010 Philip Leverhulme Prize
2009 British Academy, Small Research Grant
2008 British Academy, Small Research Grant
2007 British Academy, Overseas Conference Grant
Patricia’s current specialist courses are:
Breaking Frames: Women in Dada and Surrealism (Year 4, BA)
Art in Theory (MSc)
She welcomes PhD applications from students interested in working in the area of surrealism and its related fields.
Patricia’s research and curatorial work focuses on Surrealism and its legacies in art and photography.
2017: 4 Saints in 3 Acts: A Snapshot of the American Avant-garde in the 1930s, co-curated with Dr John Sears. The Photographers’ Gallery, London.
2014: Taking Shots: The Photography of William S. Burroughs, co-curated with Dr John Sears. The Photographers’ Gallery, London, January-April 2014.
2009: Angels of Anarchy: Women Artists and Surrealism, Manchester Art Gallery.
2019: René Magritte, Reaktion Press (forthcoming).
2016: Lee Miller – Photography, Surrealism and Beyond, Manchester University Press. Reviewed in: Woman’s Art Journal (Fall/Winter 2017), Svenska Dagbladet (9.9.2017), Studies in Photography (Fall/Winter 2017); Art in America (April 2016).
2016: This Is Magritte, Laurence King Publishing. Translated into: German, Dutch, Latvian.
2009: René Magritte – Beyond Painting, Manchester University Press. Reviewed in: El Informador (Mexico, 27.08. 2017), The Art Book, (August 2010); Journal of Surrealism and the Americas (January 2010); Spanish publications ABC, Publico, Tele 5 Online, and Latin American publications La Tercera, Telesur TVonline, El Universal Mexico (November 2009).
2017: Four Saints in Three Acts: A Snapshot of the American Avant-Garde in the 1930s, co-edited with John Sears, Manchester University Press/The Photographers’ Gallery.
2014: Taking Shots: The Photography of William S. Burroughs, co-edited with John Sears, Prestel. Reviewed in: Huffington Post, (22 July 2014), Literary Review (February 2014), Hyperallergic.com (18 July 2014).
2009: Angels of Anarchy: Women Artists and Surrealism, Prestel. Reviewed in (separately from exhibition reviews): Woman’s Art Journal (Spring/Summer 2011), Papers of Surrealism (Spring 2010), The Burlington Review (December 2009).
Edited and Co-edited Books and Special Journal Issues
2018 (Summer): ‘Photography and Performance’, edited special issue of Studies in Photography.
2016: Intersections – Women Artists/Surrealism/Modernism, Rethinking Art’s Histories series, Manchester University Press. Reviewed in: RACAR: Revue d’art canadienne (Summer 2017).
2013: ‘“Wonderful Things” – Surrealism and Egypt’, co-edited with Donna Roberts, Dada/Surrealism, University of Iowa, 20:1.
2012: European Nightmares: European Horror Cinema Since 1945, co-edited with Emily Brick and David Huxley, Wallflower Press/Columbia University Press. Reviewed in: Necsus – European Journal of Media Studies (Autumn 2012).
2011: ‘Re/reading RE/Search’, co-edited with John Sears, European Journal of American Culture, Intellect, 30:2.
2007: Collective Inventions: Surrealism in Belgium, co-edited with Hilde van Gelder, Leuven University Press. Reviewed in: The Burlington Magazine (May 2008), The Art Book (September 2008).
2005: ‘The Forgotten Surrealists: Belgian Surrealism Since 1924’, co-edited with Hilde van Gelder, Image [&] Narrative, no. 13.
Book Chapters and Exhibition Catalogue Contributions
2018: ‘Birgit Jürgenssen – Untitled’, Birgit Jürgenssen (exh. cat.), Kunsthalle Tübingen/GAMeC Museum, Bergamo/Louisiana Museum, Humlebaek.
2018: ‘Lee Miller’s Wonder & Horror of the Human Head’, in Lee Miller and Surrealism in Britain, ed. Eleanor Clayton, Lund Humphries/The Hepworth/Fundació Joan Miró.
2017: ‘A Wreath for Lee Miller’, Introductory essay for Jacqueline Saphra’s A Bargain with the Light, Hercules Editions.
2017: ‘Moving Pictures – Photography and Time in Four Saints in Three Acts, in 4 Saints in 3 Acts: A Snapshot of the American Avant-garde in the 1930s, eds. Patricia Allmer and John Sears, Manchester University Press.
2016: ‘Revising the Canon: Feminist Interventions’, in Blackwell Companion to Dada and Surrealism, ed. David Hopkins, Blackwell.
2016: ‘The Game, The Book, and the Object – Carson & Miller’s Archive Games’, with John Sears, in System, Chance, ed. Jonathan Carson and Rosie Miller, National Galleries of Scotland.
2016: ‘Pin-Up/Cut-Up: Woman in Gee Vaucher’s Assemblages’, with John Sears, Gee Vaucher: Introspections, ed. Stevphen Shukaitis, Firstsite Galler.
2015: ‘Alexis Hunter’, in The Feminist Avant-Garde of the 1970, ed. Gabriele Schor, SAMMLUNG VERBUND, Vienna/Hamburger Kunsthalle (exhibition catalogue).
2015: ‘Lee Miller’s Inter-artistic Dialogues with the Avant-Garde’, in Avant-Gardes in Performance, eds Rebecca Ferreboeuf, Fiona Noble and Tara Plunkett, Palgrave MacMillan.
2014: ‘Unfolding Burroughs’, in Taking Shots: The Photography of William S. Burroughs, eds. Patricia Allmer and John Sears, Prestel (exhibition catalogue).
2013: ‘René Magritte – La Memoire’, inCritique and Crisis: Art in Europe Since 1945, Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin.
2011: Entries in René Magritte: A-Z, ed. Christoph Grunenberg, Tate Liverpool, and Albertina, Vienna, (exhibition catalogue).
2011: ‘Taxidermia – A Hungarian Taste for Horror’, in European Nightmares: European Horror Cinema Since 1945,eds. Patricia Allmer, Emily Brick and David Huxley, Wallflower Press.
2010: ‘Pinching a Shadow’, exhibition essay accompanying Brass Art’s exhibition The Non-existence of the Unnamed, International 3.
2009: ‘Of Fallen Angels and Angels of Anarchy’, in Angels of Anarchy: Women Artists and Surrealism,ed. Patricia Allmer, Prestel.
2009: ‘On being touched’, in The Story of Things (exhibition catalogue/artistbook), eds. Rosie Miller and Jonathan Carson, Righton Press/MMU Special Collections.
2007: ‘Dial M for Magritte’ in Johan Grimonprez - Looking for Alfred, eds. Steven Bode and Thomas Elsaesser, Film and Video Umbrella.
2007: ‘René Magritte and the Postcard’ in Collective Inventions: Surrealism in Belgium Reconsidered, eds. Patricia Allmer and Hilde van Gelder, Leuven University Press.
2007: ‘Dare You Play On’ in The Exquisite Fold, Jonathan Carson and Rosie Miller, Manchester: Righton Press, 2007.
2006: ‘Framing the Real: Frames and the Process of Framing in René Magritte’s Œuvre’, in Framing Borders in Literature and Other Media, eds. Walter Bernhart and Werner Wolf Rodopi.
2018: Interview with ORLAN: ‘Photography & Performance’, Studies in Photographyspecial journal issue.
2017: Curatorial interview with Anna Dannemann and Gabriele Schor, Studies in Photography.
2013: ‘Apertures onto Egypt – Lee Miller’s Nomadic Surrealism’, in ‘”Wonderful Things” Surrealism and Egypt’, special issue, Patricia Allmer and Donna Roberts (eds.), Dada/Surrealism, University of Iowa, Vol. 20, Issue 1.
2013: ‘Lee Miller – Ombres d’elle-même’, Mélusine: cahiers du Centre de recherches sur le surréalisme (Paris III), Spring (special journal issue on women surrealists).
2012: ‘Lee Miller’s Revenge on Fascist Culture’, History of Photography, 4.
2011: ‘RE/Searching Angry Women’, European Journal of American Culture, vol. 30, issue 2, 26-38.
2011: ‘Relating the Story of Things’, Image [&] Narrative, 12:3.
2011: 'Interview with Judy Chicago, part 1', Cassone: The International Online Magazine of Art and Art Books, May. Reprinted in Forum, Polish magazine.
2011: 'Interview with Judy Chicago, part 2', Cassone: The International Online Magazine of Art and Art Books, June. Reprinted in Forum, Polish magazine.
2007: ‘“La Reproduction Interdite” – René Magritte and Forgery’ in Papers of Surrealism, Issue 5. http://www.surrealismcentre.ac.uk/papersofsurrealism/journal5/acrobat%20files/articles/allmerpdf.pdf. Excerpt reprinted in: Sexymachinery Issue A: Super Replica, (reprint), Issue 1, 2008, 3-19.
2004: ‘“Window Shopping?” – Aesthetics of the Spectacular and Cinéma du Look’ in Scope: An Online Journal of Film Studies, University of Nottingham, February. .
2001: ‘“Theorising the Aura”: Benjamin, Photography and Art’ in Postscript: A Journal of Graduate Criticism and Theory, University of Newfoundland, Number 1, Fall, 33-49.
Invited Talks & Keynotes
2019: 'René Magritte's Fairground Attractions', Expert symposium: Surrealism as Art History, University of Amsterdam.
2019: 'Katy Hundertmark - Spielraum of Imagination', The Photograph - A Stage, TalkSee Photography Incubator, CCA Glasgow.
2019: 'Wonder and Horror of the Crystal Skull', "Do Your Looks Betray You?" - Anatomical Museum Edinburgh Talks.
2018: Conference keynote, ‘Temple of Sight: British Surrealism and the Crystal Skull’, Surrealism in Britain, 1925-55, The Hepworth, Wakefield.
2018: ‘Staging René Magritte’, Honorary Bernheim 2018 lectures at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Belgium.
2018: ‘Translating Unica Zürn’, Surrealism: From France to the World, Princeton University, USA.
2018: ‘The Gaze in 4 Saints in 3 Acts’, Keyspeakers Series, The Photographers’ Gallery, London.
2017: Lecture, ‘Bird-Gothic – Toyen’s Message of the Forest’, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh.
2016: ‘Curating 4 Saints in 3 Acts’, Creative Industries Conference, University of Edinburgh Business School.
2015: Opening conference keynote, ‘Shadow Dance – The Mobile Uncanny’,Folds in Time, Freud Museum, London.
2015: Lecture, ‘Cutting Up Picasso: Lee Miller’s Collage, invited lecture, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh.
2015: Lecture, ‘The Sadean Lee Miller’, University of Essex.
2014: Lecture, ‘The Photography of William S. Burroughs’ (with John Sears), Burgess Centre/University of Manchester.
2014: Lecture, ‘Lee Miller’s Transgressive Eroticism’, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh.
2014: ‘Refiguring Claude Cahun’, Parallel Lives: Marlow Moss & Claude Cahun, Leeds Art Gallery.
2014: Talk, ‘Taking Shots and the Archive’, Photography and the Archive workshop, European Languages and Cultures, University of Edinburgh.
2013: ‘Lee Miller’s Signscapes’, Alternative Modernisms: An International, Interdisciplinary Conference, Cardiff University.
2012: 'Remapping Surrealism - Lee Miller's Cartographies', MLA Annual Convention, Seattle, USA.
2011: ‘René Magritte/Georges Bataille', Scholar's Morning, Tate Liverpool.
2011: Lecture, ‘Lee Miller’s Revenge on (Fascist) Culture’, University of Sussex.
2010: Lecture ‘Lee Miller – The Art of Fixing a Shadow’, National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh.
2010: Roundtable contribution to the seminar Don’t Ask for the Mona Lisa: Exhibition Collaborations between Academics and Art Galleries, Organised by the Museums and Exhibitions Group of the Association of Art Historians, University of Leeds.
2010: Lecture, ‘Women Artists and Surrealism’, Oxford Women in Politics Seminar, University of Oxford.
2010: Conference keynote, ‘Relating the Story of Things’, The Story of Things, REACT, University of Salford and MMU Special Collections, Manchester.
2009: ‘In Conversation with Carson & Miller’, The Story of Things, MMU Special Collections, Manchester.
2009: Conference talk: ‘Beyond Frontiers: Lee Miller’s Nomadic Surrealism’, Across the Frontiers: International Surrealism, CRASSH, University of Cambridge.
2009: Lecture, ‘“The problem of woman” – Women Artists and Surrealism’ Friends of National Museum of Women in the Arts, London.
2009: Lecture, ‘Im Anfang war der Blick: Horror and History in Bady Minck’s Films’, Women Surrealist Filmmakers film showing series, Cornerhouse, Manchester.
2009: Lecture, ‘Women Artists, Surrealism and Tradition’, Women Artists and Surrealism lecture series, Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester.
2009: Lecture, ‘Curating Angels of Anarchy: Women Artists and Surrealism’, Friends of Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester.
2006: Lecture: ‘The Force of Habit – René Magritte and Forgery’, Research Seminar, Centre for Surrealism and Its Legacies, University of Manchester.
Current PhD students
PhD Supervision Topics
Patricia welcomes enquiries from PhD applicants interested in her specialist areas which include Surrealism and its legacies, and modernism and photography.