Upcoming Presentation: The No More War movement and the Graphic Work of Käthe Kollwitz and her Contemporaries in post-World War I Germany, 19 October 2023, 5:00-6:30 pm.

I will give this presentation as part of the event, Illustrating Conflict, organised by the History of the Printed Image Network (Centre for Printing History and Culture, University of Birmingham/Birmingham City University)

The event will run in conjunction with ArtsFest at the University of Wolverhampton.

This is a FREE event; bookings will open shortly. More information can be found on the HoPIN website here.

10 March 2022: New essay: Antonio Gisbert’s Monument to Spanish Liberty: The Production of the Execution of Torrijos and his Companions on the Beach at Málaga (1888)

This peer-reviewed essay was invited as part of a special issue of Arts, A Ten-Year Journey of Arts, edited by Prof. Michelle Facos, Department of Art History, Indiana University.

This is the first essay-length study of this monumental Spanish painting in English, which memorializes the execution of the liberal General José María de Torrijos and his Companions on the beaches at Málaga in 1831, after a failed attempt to stir a revolution to topple the despotic Ferdinand VII. The painting is considered to be the greatest work by Antonio Gisbert Pérez, an artist who has received renewed attention since the painting’s permanent reinstallation in the Prado, Madrid, in 2007. A pivotal example of the Spanish visual culture of war, and remarkable for its innovative composition and sensitive portrayal of Torrijos and his men, the painting also depicts the Byronic, Northern Irish-born Robert Boyd, active in the final years (1830–1831) of the Greek War of Independence and who was inspired by Torrijos’ cause. This essay introduces new material that builds on existing Spanish-led research, offering a detailed analysis of the painting’s content and composition within its historical context. Read the essay on the Arts website.

16 July 2021: New Journal article: The German Art Society Dresden vs. Otto Dix, Academia Letters, 2021

This short peer-reviewed article looks at this extreme right-wing art group’s actions against Otto Dix from 1927. The term ‘Degenerate Art’ is well known, especially with regard to the infamous exhibition that took place in Munich in 1937. However, one of the earliest Degenerate Art shows took place place in Dresden in September 1933. Dresden had a number of volkisch art groups, active from the early Weimar years, which were affiliated with the NSDAP and which targeted art that they considered ‘un-German’. The German Art Society was well connected to NSDAP from the early 1920s and was instrumental in the assured destruction of Dix’s career once the NSDAP took power in January 1933. The article can be read here.

11 June 2021: Design for Booklet on St Peter’s World War I memorial, Cork, written by Gerry White, in print!

I’m delighted to see my Adobe InDesign skills in print! This lovely booklet about those commemorated on the World War I memorial at St Peter’s, North Main St., Cork, written by Cork war historian Gerry White, sponsored by Cork City Council and designed and laid out by yours truly, is now on sale at St Peter’s. The memorial is undergoing restoration and will be unveiled in the near future.

11 April 2021: Talk on Romanesque Art and Architecture, New York

It was a pleasure to give a talk, via Zoom, on Romanesque art and architecture to the group at Orthodox Tours, led by Fr. Gotlinsky, Rector/Tour Leader, at the Dormition of the Virgin Mary Orthodox Church, Binghampton, New York. The talk focused especially on the art and architecture of pilgrimage, found on or close to the Way of St James (Camino de Santiago de Compostela), from central France to Santiago de Compostela. Fr Gotlinsky leads cultural tours across Europe and Russia, taking in sacred sites from early Christianity onward.

8 February 2021: Presentation on Käthe Kollwitz and the No More War Movement to Savannah College of Art and Design, Georgia, US

It was great to present this talk on Käthe Kollwtiz and her role in the German No More War movement to SCAD’s wonderful students, led by Prof. Andrew Nedd, via Zoom. The talk highlighted the centrality of Kolwitz and cultural figures such as Ernst Barlach, Frans Masereel, George Grosz, Carl von Ossietzky, Kurt Tucholsky, Ernst Friedrich, Romain Rolland, Stefan Zweig, Ernst Toller and Helene Stöcker, among others to countering militarist culture in Germany and beyond. I was delighted by the students’ willingness to engage with the topic and ask questions afterward. All in all, a stimulating evening.

1 February 2021: New book chapter on Otto Dix’s Metropolis just published

I am delighted that my essay ‘Between Art and History: Reconfiguring the Memory of World War I in Otto Dix’s Metropolis’, is now published in Artistic Expressions and the Great War, A Hundred Years On, ed. by Sally Charnow (New York: Peter Lang, 2020). DOI: https://doi.org/10.3726/b15605

About this chapter: Otto Dix’s thirty-eight months as a frontline soldier were the key to much of his post-war output. Alongside numerous portraits and other commissioned work, his portrayal of post-war German society and the war experience made him one of Germany’s most internationally known and controversial living artists. His sparse commentary on his work during the 1920s and 1930s have only enhanced the pictures’ enigma, then and since. Yet, much may be gleaned as to how the works engaged with the memory of the war in Germany by address to cultural and political conditions, and by examining the reception of the work by cultural critics. This chapter examines how Dix’s large triptych Metropolis (Figure 1) contributed to the shaping of war memory in Germany in 1928, ten years after the armistice, treating how the artist’s invocation of German artistic traditions and revocation of prevailing models of militant identity worked to reconfigure German memorialisation of World War I.

Read more about the book on the Peter Lang website.

Otto Dix, Metropolis, 1928. Kunstmuseum, Stuttgart.

16 October 2020: appointed to Topics Board, Arts (ISSN 2076-0752)

I am delighted to announce that I have been invited to join the Topics Board of Arts (ISSN 2076-0752), an international peer-reviewed open access journal, listed on Clarivate’s Web of Science ESCI (Emerging Sources Citation Index). Arts is published quarterly online by MDPI in March, June, September and December.  I am delighted to be placed among such great academic and professional company and look forward to collaborating.