Juliet Simpson

Professor, Professor of Art History, Chair of Visual Arts and Cultural Memory

Accepting PhD Students

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Personal profile

Research Interests

Research Interests

Professor Juliet Simpson is an internationally-recognized expert in art and visual cultures of the long nineteenth century and twentieth centuries. Her research, teaching and curatorial interests focus on how perceptions and meanings of art shape national and transnational cultural identities and values. She has published and lectured widely on fin-de-siècle art and cosmopolitan artistic exchange, French art and art criticism of the long nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, spaces of display, Decadent visual and literary cultures, art and memory, reception of medieval art and capitals of art. Prof Simpson's current work explores how we image, retrieve and reinvent personal and collective cultural memory, via objects, texts, sites and monuments, and on the reception and reinvention of Northern Gothic and Renaissance visual cultures, including in collections, receptions, via displays and transnational recreations in modern and contemporary art. Professor Simpson is also Director of the Lanchester Research Gallery, Coventry University. International awards and major collaborations include: as Visiting Professor of Art History and Cultural Memory, University of Amsterdam, Visiting Scholar (in conjunction with a Leverhulme Research Fellowship), Wolfson College, University of Oxford. She is Academic Advisor, Department of Art, Philosophy and Cultural Heritage at the Freie University, Berlin, Principal Advisory Partner, British Council, Venice Biennale Fellowships Programme; a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Professor Simpson Chairs an international research project on reception and identities of Northern Gothic art in the long nineteenth century. She is currently curating the international exhibition, 'Gothic Modern: Munch to Kollwitz' as Senior Guest Curator, and Principal Project Lead with the Berlin Alte Nationalgalerie-Finnish National Gallery-Ateneum and international museum partners for an international touring exhibition, 2023-24 and 


Professor Simpson read Art History, English Literature, Ancient History and Music at the University of St Andrews, Scotland, where she gained a first-class MA Honours in Art History. She gained her DPhil (Doctorate) in History of Art from the University of Oxford (Trinity College) for her thesis on 'Aurier, Symbolism and the Visual Arts' (supervised by Francis Haskell, FBA). Professor Simpson has taught extensively in the UK and internationally, including at the Universities of Reading, Aberdeen, Oxford, Amsterdam and Brunel University (Buckinghamshire New University). She has held many awards, including a Leverhulme Research Fellowship in conjunction with a Visiting Scholarship, Wolfson College, University of Oxford for her research on art criticism, press and publics in nineteenth-century France, a Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, Visiting Full Professor award, held at the University of Amsterdam (School of Art History, Memory and Material Culture) for her international project on medieval art in the long nineteenth and twentieth centuries ('Gothic Modernisms', the Rijksmuseum, 2017) and awards from the AHRC, CNRS-Paris (for her scholarly exhibition and publication on 'Jules Flandrin: the Other Fin de Siècle'- Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 2001); two awards from the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art ('Primitive Renaissances', The National Gallery-London: 2014; and 'Visions of the North' Compton-Verney, UK, 2016) and the British Academy and the Art Fund (National Gallery, London). Professor Simpson is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, UK and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society; Consultant Expert, Compton Verney, Northern European Art; Advisory Partner for the British Council, Venice Fellowships Programme and on the International Editorial Board for Amsterdam University Press ('Spatial Imaginaries in Historical Perspectives').   

Education/Academic qualification

History of Art, Doctorate, University of Oxford

Art History, First Class, MA, University of St Andrews

External positions

Fellow, Royal Historical Society

6 Dec 2019 → …

Visiting Fellow in Art and Cultural Memory (Renaissance Afterlives), University of London

1 Oct 201930 Jun 2020

Guest Professor Curator, Finnish National Gallery

15 Jun 2018Oct 2022

Visiting Guest Professor in Art History and Cultural Memory , IMT School of Advanced Study, Lucca

9 May 201811 Sep 2018

Royal Netherlands Visiting Professor in Art History, University of Amsterdam

Apr 2017Apr 2018

Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Royal Society of Arts

1 Nov 2016 → …

International Subject Expert: Art Panel, Academy of Finland

1 Sep 201630 Mar 2017


  • N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
  • History of Art
  • modern
  • history of cultural memory
  • Symbolist art
  • cosmopolitanism
  • medieval art reception
  • avant-gardes
  • art historiography
  • word and image
  • print cultures
  • Nordic art
  • Transcultural artistic exchange
  • art and memory
  • Curation
  • French art reception
  • art, press and publics
  • Art and the emotions
  • ND Painting
  • DC France
  • Europe, Global, Modern, Medieval, Early Modern, Cultural Identity, Heritage

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Research Output

Mobile Shrines and Magical Bodies: Reframing Medieval Afterlives of Marian ‘Vierges Ouvrantes’ in Sacred and Liminal Spaces

Simpson, J., 16 Jul 2020, (Submitted) Salve Regina: New Approaches to Marian Devotion in the Middle Ages. Znorovszky, A-B. (ed.). Routledge

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  • ‘Lucas Cranach’s ‘Reinventions’ – Reframing ‘Primitive’ and Rooted Identities of Art and Nation at the European Fin‐de‐Siècle’

    Simpson, J., 25 Sep 2020, In : FNG Research. (In-Press), September 2020, p. (In-Press)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Baudelaire’s Prodigal Constantin: Guys, Illustration and the Urban ‘Spirituel’

    Simpson, J., 1 Feb 2019, (Accepted/In press) In : Word and Image. (In-press), p. (In-press) 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 'Gothic Modernisms, 1880-1940s'

    Baetens, J-D., Bauduin, T., von Bonsdorff, A-M. & Simpson, J., 2019, (Accepted/In press) Peter Lang AG. 310 p. (Critical Interactions and Relations in the Arts)

    Research output: Book/ReportAnthology or Edited Book

    Imaging Uncanny Memory: the Isenheim Altarpiece and War, 1917-1919

    Simpson, J., 30 Dec 2019, (In preparation).

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


    Oud Holland: Journal of Art for the Low Countries (Journal)

    Juliet Simpson (Associate Editor)
    8 Feb 202026 Apr 2020

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial activity

    Salve Regina: New Approaches to Marian Devotion in the Middle Ages

    Juliet Simpson (Speaker)
    28 Sep 202030 Sep 2020

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

    Arts and Humanities Research Council (External organisation)

    Juliet Simpson (Member)
    4 Sep 20201 Oct 2022

    Activity: MembershipMembership of board

    Warburg Fellows Virtual Research Forum

    Juliet Simpson (Organising Committee)
    8 Apr 202031 Aug 2020

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference


    Fellow, Royal Historical Society

    Juliet Simpson (Recipient), 6 Dec 2019

    Prize: Election to learned society

  • Fellowship of the Royal Historical Society

    Juliet Simpson (Recipient), 7 Feb 2020

    Prize: Election to learned society