Claudia Hopkins

Job title:

Professor in Art History


Claudia Hopkins is Professor of Art History at Edinburgh College of Art. She is Honorary Professor in Hispanic Art at Durham University, where she served as the Director of the Zurbarán Centre for Spanish and Latin American Art from 2020 to 2023.

Claudia’s research focuses on art and visual culture in nineteenth- and twentieth-century transnational contexts, as a focus for debate about constructs of self and others, issues of identity, and processes of translation. 

Between 2015 and 2020, she co-led the collaborative research project on pan-European art criticism on the art of the United States, funded by the Terra Foundation of American Art. The main outcome was the two-volume book Hot Art, Cold War–Western and Northern European Writing on American Art 1945-1990 and Southern and Eastern European Writing on American Art 1945-1990, co-edited with I. B. Whyte (Routledge, 2020). The two volumes have been perceived as groundbreaking, as they “will definitely change the narrative” about the European reception of postwar American art and be “an incredible resource for any scholar of American or European art during the Cold War period” (Critique d’Art 57, 2021).

In 2018-2019 Claudia Hopkins was awarded a Leverhulme Fellowship for Rethinking Orientalism. Spanish attitudes to al-Andalus and Morocco. In relation to this theme, she collaborated with the Centro de Estudios Europa Hispánica to curate a major exhibition La España romántica: David Roberts y Genaro Pérez Villaamil at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, Madrid (Oct. 2021-Jan. 2022). 

The catalogue Romantic Spain. David Roberts and Genaro Pérez Villaamil (2021) won the  “Jonathan Brown Award” of the Society of Global Iberian Art (SIGA) for exceptional achievement in an exhibition catalogue. 

Find out more about Romantic Spain on the websites of the RA and CEEH.

Her book Art and Identity in Spain 1833-1956. The Orient Within is in production with Bloomsbury Publishing (288pp., release date: 2024). Her interest in Orientalism began with her Ph.D on Spanish Arabism (2005) and Pascual de Gayangos: a Nineteenth-Century Spanish Arabist (edited with C. Álvarez, EUP, 2008). This has been described in the Oxford Journal of Islamic Studies (vol.21.3, 2010) as "an important contribution to the study of the history of Oriental studies, which presents a much more nuanced picture than the clear-cut divisions often inferred from Said's Orientalism".

Claudia Hopkins also made a major contribution to the exhibition and its publication The Discovery of Spain: British Artists and Collectors: Goya to Picasso (National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh, July – October 2009), which drew in over 70,000 visitors.

Claudia Hopkins is editor the Getty-funded journal Art in Translation since 2023She previously served as co-editor with Iain Boyd Whyte, the journal’s founding editor, for many years. 

She has (co-)convened many conferences on art, translation, and cultural exchanges, including Translating Cultures in the Hispanic World, University of Edinburgh, 2013; a Postcolonial Approach to Francoist Spain, University of Edinburgh 2018, and recently Cold (War) Embraces: Spanish-American Exchanges 1945-1990 at the Fundación Juan March, October 2022.  

Find out more about Cold (War) Embraces.

Between 2005 and 2007, she was a Senior Researcher for the AHRC-funded National Research Inventory Project and contributed to the free online inventory of Continental European art in public UK collections.

Find out more about NIRP on the National Gallery website.

External PhD students: 

  • Stephanie Bernard, Durham University
  • Richard Jacques, Durham University


Claudia Hopkins lectures in History of Art, at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Specialist courses include:

  • Orientalism in European Visual Culture
  • Barcelona and Modernity 1858-1937
  • Goya  - the first of the modern 
  • Velazquez in Context
  • The Golden Age of Spain: Art, Politics and Religion
  • The Aesthetics of Difference: Postcolonial Perspectives from the 19th to the 20th Century. 

She welcomes research students for supervision for projects related to any of the above areas.

Current PhD students:

Past research students

  • Danielle Smith (CEEH-funded PhD on early nineteenth-century Spanish costume books, completed 2021)
  • Stefana Djokic (AHRC-funded PhD on Yugoslav-US artistic relations during the Cold War, completed 2021)
  • Iñigo Basarrate Gonzalez (PhD, completed 2017) - Lutyens and Spain (2nd supervisor)
  • Stefana Djokic (MSc, 2015-2016) - the reception of US art in former Yugoslavia
  • Akemi Herráez Hernandez (MSc) – the reception of mudéjar in 19th-century Spain (2013-2014)
  • Elena Montejo (visiting PhD, Universidad de Granada, 2014) - the reception of the Alhambra in Britain
  • Anna Stewart (PhD) – cultural studies (with Dr Ella Chmielewska, 2013)


Claudia Hopkins is mainly concerned with Spanish art and culture, including the reception of Spain in British art and culture. Her work is informed by postcolonial / translation theory.

Select publications : 

  • Spain and Orientalism in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, ed. C.Hopkins and A. McSweeney, Art in Translation, augmented issue, vol. 9.1 (2017)
  • “On the ways of viewing Spanish Art. Review of Nigel Glendinning and Hilary Macartney (eds.), Spanish Art in Britain and Ireland 1750-1920, Studies in Reception in Memory of Enriqueta Harris Frankfort", in Art History (Sept. 2012).
  • "The Power of Translation in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Spain", Art in Translation, 4.1 (March 2012), pp.61-72.
  • “The Alhambra in Britain. Between Foreignization and Domestication”, Art in Translation (Special Issue on Translation and Visual Culture), vol. 2.2, July 2010, pp. 201-222.
  • “Art History and Translation" (co-authored with I. B. Whyte), in J. Anderson (ed.), Cross-Cultural Art History in a Polycentered World, a special issue of the UNESCO journal Diogenes, no. 231, English edition, August 2011.
  • "The Spanish Picturesque", in The Discovery of Spain British Artists and Collectors: Goya to Picasso, ed. David Howarth (Edinburgh: National Galleries of Scotland, 2009), pp.47-64.
  • "Andalucia: A Dream of the South", in The Discovery of Spain: British Artists and Collectors: Goya to Picasso, ed. David Howarth (Edinburgh: National Galleries of Scotland, 2009), pp.65-79.
  •  "Pascual de Gayangos and Anglo-American Hispanism" in Álvarez, C. and Heide, C., Pascual de Gayangos. A Nineteenth-Century Spanish Arabist (Edinburgh University Press, 2008), pp.132-158
  • "Gayangos and the World of Politics" (Gayangos and the Whigs in Britain), in Alvarez, C. and Heide, C., Pascual de Gayangos. A Nineteenth-Century Spanish Arabist(Edinburgh University Press, 2008), pp.24-48

Current PhD students

PhD Supervision Topics

  • Spanish art 18th-20th c;
  • Angloamerican-Hispanic cultural and artistic relations
  • Orientalism

Related programmes