The new British Art Network sub-groups

  • 27 August 2019

Earlier this year the Paul Mellon Centre announced that it would be working in partnership with Tate to expand and promote the British Art Network, the Specialist Subject Network which brings together professionals working on British art.

An important strand of the British Art Network is the development of sub-groups, designed to enable Network members, who work within specialist subject areas, to come together and continue conversations beyond events. Since the re-launch, four new sub-groups have been established, bringing the total number to eleven. The 2019/2020 activities of the sub-groups (including workshops and study days) officially start in October 2019 and they are all seeking new interested members. Membership of the sub-groups is free, please contact the relevant person for more information about joining:

Black British Art
The Black British Art Network brings together curators, artists, researchers and academics interested in critical race issues as they pertain to the histories, collection, production, consumption and display of art in Britain and its audiences.
If you are interested in joining the sub-group please contact Professor Dorothy Price (University of Bristol) [email protected]

British Art in Historic Houses
The aim of this sub-group is to promote a holistic and collaborative approach to looking at and thinking about British art in historic houses. It is led by a team of co-organisers representing different parts of the sector: museums and galleries; heritage; and academia.
If you are interested in joining the group, please contact Dr Peter Moore (Curator of Collections & Interiors, English Heritage) [email protected]

British Drawings
The focus for this sub-group is the study of British drawings, defined in the broadest terms of medium and chronology. It aims to stimulate discussion, to foster productive collaborations between curators, academics, researchers and practitioners and to capitalise on new interest in what is proving to be a growing area of research and scholarship within UK museums, galleries and universities.
If you are interested in joining the group, please contact Rosie Razzall (Curator of Prints and Drawings, Royal Collection Trust) [email protected]

British Genre and Narrative Painting, 1750-1870
The British Genre and Narrative Painting,1750-1870 sub-group is led by Liverpool Hope University. The aim of the group is to bring together scholars to share expertise and research ideas on this neglected topic in order to build knowledge and increase opportunities to display nineteenth-century British narrative and genre painting for audiences in the UK and beyond.
If you are interested in joining the group, please contact Dr Amelia Yeates (Senior Lecturer in Art History, Liverpool Hope University) [email protected]

British Landscapes
This sub-group is dedicated to British landscape art. In 2019-20 we are expanding from our original emphasis on the period 1800-1850 to also look at landscape and the environment in modern and contemporary art. The group’s activities continue to consider the history of landscape art in Britain in the context of scientific discoveries and the reshaping of aesthetic ideas.
If you are interested in joining the group, please contact Dr Jenny Gaschke (Curator of Fine Art pre-1900, Bristol Museum & Art Gallery) [email protected]

Three people at a table

Members of the British Art Network.,

Digital image courtesy of Tate.

British Mural Painting, 1600-1750
The British Murals sub-group is a group of academics, museum and heritage professionals with a research interest in the work of British mural painters, and continental artists working in Britain, employed to decorate the palaces and country houses of the 17th and early 18th centuries. This subject remains poorly documented and misunderstood and the grand baroque schemes of artists such as Verrio, Laguerre and Thornhill have often been neglected, covered up or destroyed completely.
For further details, and news about future events, please visit or contact Brett Dolman, Curator (Collections) [email protected]

British Women Artists, 1750-1950
The British Women Artists, 1750–1950 sub-group focuses on women’s artistic productivity in a variety of mediums. It has been established because, during the last two decades, a number of feminist scholars and curators have stressed and deplored the neglect of, and sought to make more visible, the work of British women artists of this period but there is still a relative lack of knowledge about these women compared to their male counterparts which forms a barrier to the display of their work.
If you are interested in joining the group, please visit the University of York’s History of Art Portal or contact Dr Katie Jane Tyreman Herrington [email protected]

Contemporary Art in Scotland
The Contemporary Art in Scotland sub-group aims to forge and strengthen connections between researchers, curators and artists who are interested in exploring the longer histories of contemporary practice as they have developed in relation to the country.
If you are interested in joining the group, please contact Dr Catherine Spencer (Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Art, University of St Andrews) [email protected]

Group Work: Contemporary Art and Feminisim
Group Work: Contemporary Art and Feminism explores the legacies and histories of group work in art since the 1970s, with a focus on feminist practices. Questions under consideration include: what would a (feminist) art history look like if it refused to tell a history of individual artists? And how did the collectivity inherent in much feminist organising in the 1970s and 1980s feed into artistic practices?
If you are interested in joining the Group, please email [email protected]

Post-War Painting in Regional Collections
Post-war British painting is shaped by the complex shift in aesthetic values since the 1950s and the many social and political changes in Britain in this period. We can rethink the status of painting in our present era, dominated as it is by conceptual and digital art, by making this history of post-war painting a focus of study. With this sub-group, we aim to rethink the geography of aesthetic practice in post-war Britain, and tell a new story about how new forms of painting were developed and appreciated during this time.
If you are interested in joining the group, please contact Sophie Hatchwell (Lecturer in History of Art, University of Birmingham) [email protected]

Queer British Art
This sub-group, established by the Walker Art Gallery, National Museums Liverpool, will provide a forum for the discussion and dissemination of knowledge related to Queer British Art. It aims to nurture relationships between academics, curators, educators and artists to support Queer programming within institutions and to enhance understanding of the richness of Queer British art history.
If you are interested in joining the group, please contact Charlotte Keenan McDonald (Curator of British Art, National Museums Liverpool) [email protected]

More information on the British Art Network and sub-groups can be found on the Tate website.