Email: frances.blythe@ed.ac.uk

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

Start date: September 2016

Mode of study: Full time

Research title: Home and Homelessness in German Landscape Painting 1890-1990

Frances is a second-year doctoral student in Art History, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Her thesis examines representations of Heimat (home) and Heimatlosigkeit (homelessness) in German landscape painting between the years 1890 and 1990.

She is interested in the relationship between art and national identity, and specifically how this was expressed through landscape in twentieth-century Germany. Her research draws from a variety of disciplines to explore the resonances of Romanticism and ecological consciousness in twentieth-century German art, and how these informed discourses of loss and belonging throughout this conflict-riven period.

Prior to commencing doctoral research, Frances worked as a provenance researcher of Nazi looted art for the British Museum and the Commission for Looted Art in Europe, and on a forthcoming retrospective of the contemporary German artist Thomas Schütte for the Museum of Modern Art in New York. She holds a first class degree in Modern & Medieval Languages from the University of Cambridge and a Masters degree with Distinction in History of Art from the Courtauld Institute of Art, where she was awarded the director's prize for an outstanding MA dissertation.

Together with her supervisors Christian Weikop and Keith Hartley (Deputy Director of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art), she is working on an exhibition catalogue to accompany a major retrospective of the artist Emil Nolde, to be held at the National Gallery of Ireland (14 February - 10 June 2018) and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (14 July-21 October 2018). Her essay contribution is entitled 'Border Crosser: Nolde as Outsider and the Problem of Heimat'.​

Research interests

  • Twentieth-century German art, architecture and literature
  • National identity and belonging
  • Landscape and nature in German history

Publications

  • Forthcoming: 'Border Crosser: Nolde as Outsider and the Problem of Heimat' in: Emil Nolde, exh. cat., National Galleries of Scotland 2018.

Papers presented

  • 'Provenance Research in UK Museums', Winter Provenance School, Zentral Institut für Kunstgeschichte, Munich, February 2016.
  • 'A Mirror of Nature: Probing the surface of landscape and identity in Walter Leistikow's Berlin Lakes', History of Art Postgraduate Research Conference, Edinburgh, May 2017.