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Modern Mistresses on the Old Masters: 19th-century women writers on western European art – their networks and influence

A fully-funded PhD studentship in partnership with Birkbeck College

Collaborative Doctoral Partnership

The National Gallery offers a small number of Collaborative Doctoral Partnership studentships, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and run in partnership with higher education institutions. These studentships focus on specific themes relevant to the Gallery's collection and wider research themes.

Research project

This project looks afresh at the role of women as disseminators of knowledge about the Old Masters. While the National Gallery’s first Director, Charles Eastlake, and his colleagues produced scholarly catalogues aimed at professionals and connoisseurs, women in his network disseminated information about its pictures in more demotic, creative ways. It explores the social and cultural history of the Gallery’s present-day efforts to democratise access to its collections and reach new audiences by examining the hitherto understudied critical and art-historical writings of 19th-century women, which typically had a more popular reach than that of their male counterparts while speaking to specialists, then and now.