Kathryn Brown holds a D.Phil in French from the University of Oxford and a PhD in Art History from the University of London. She is a tenured Assistant Professor of Art History at Tilburg University in the Netherlands. She is a Rhodes Scholar and has taught and held visiting fellowships at the University of Kent (United Kingdom), the University of British Columbia (Canada), Tulane University (USA), and the Australian National University in Canberra. Her research interests and publications span a range of areas including nineteenth- and twentieth-century French painting and literature, aesthetics, and contemporary art. Her most recent articles have been published in the Forum for Modern Language Studies, The European Journal of Cultural Studies, n.paradoxa, the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism and American Art.
Brown has edited and contributed a chapter about Matisse and Baudelaire to a new book entitled The Art Book Tradition in Twentieth-Century Europe: Picturing Language (Ashgate 2013: ISBN 978-1-4094-2065-1).
She has also edited and contributed a chapter to a multi-author volume entitled Interactive Contemporary Art: New Participatory Practices (forthcoming I.B. Tauris, 2014).
Prior to becoming an art historian, Kathryn Brown was a partner in an international law firm in the City of London. She practised corporate law in London for fourteen years.
'Undoing Urban Modernity: Contemporary Art's Confrontation with Waste', in European Journal of Cultural Studies (Sage Publications), December, 2013.
'Remembering the Occupation: La Mort et les statues by Pierre Jahan and Jean Cocteau', Forum for Modern Language Studies (Oxford University Press), vol. 49, no. 3, 2013, pp. 286-99.
'Balloon Travel, Objectivity, and Empire in Jules Verne's Cinq semaines en ballon' in (eds) Adam Watts and Loïc Guyon, Allers-Retours: Nineteenth-Century France in Motion (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013), pp. 96-110.
'Influence as Appropriation of the Creative Gesture: Matisse's Poèmes de Charles d'Orléans' in (eds), Thomas Baldwin, James Fowler and Ana de Medeiros, Questions of Influence in Modern French Literature (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), pp. 84-97.
'Enacting Beauty: Baudelaire, Matisse, and Les Fleurs du mal' in K. Brown (ed), The Art Book Tradition in Twentieth-Century Europe (2013, Ashgate), pp. 31-44.
Introduction to K. Brown (ed), The Art Book Tradition in Twentieth-Century Europe (2013, Ashgate), pp. 1-16.
PhD (Art History): University of London, Birkbeck College
D.Phil (French): University of Oxford, Balliol College
College of Law (London): Law Society Finals Examination
Advanced Diploma in Law: Oxford Brookes University
MA (German): University of Adelaide, South Australia
BA (First class hons): University of Adelaide, South Australia
Scholarships, Fellowships, and Awards
- Rhodes Scholar
- Research Grant, Shpilman Institute for Photorgraphy (2011)
- Claude Pichois Fellowship to carry out research at the W.T. Bandy Institute for Baudelaire and Modern French Studies, Vanderbilt University
- ULEMHAS grant towards obtaining image rights for 'A Space for the Imagination: Depicting Women Readers in the Nineteenth-Century City' in Intimate Metropolis: Urban Subjects in the Modern City (eds) D. Periton, V. di Palma, and M.Lathouri
- Deutsche Akademische Austauschdienst scholarship for study at the Albert Ludwigs Universität, Freiburg, Germany
- Undergraduate prizes: A.J. Schultz Prize for German; Finals Prize
2009-2010: Visiting Scholar, Newcomb College Center for Research on Women, Tulane University, New Orleans, USA
2008-2009: Research Fellow, University of Kent, Canterbury: School of Drama, Film and Visual Arts
2007-2008: Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of British Columbia, Canada: Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory
2006-2007: Partner (Solicitor), Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker (Europe) LLP (London)
2001-2006: Of Counsel (Solicitor), Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP (London)
1993-2001: Solicitor, Slaughter and May (London)
My book Women Readers in French Painting (1870-1890) (Ashgate, 2012) examines the depiction of reading women in French art of the early Third Republic, evaluates the pictorial significance of this imagery, its critical reception, and its impact on notions of femininity and social relations. Covering a broad range of paintings, prints, and sculptures, this book shows how the liseuse was subjected to unprecedented levels of pictorial innovation by artists with widely differing aesthetic aims and styles. Depictions of readers are interpreted as contributions to changing notions of public and private life, female agency, and women's participation in cultural and political debates beyond the domestic household. The book explores images of women readers from a range of social classes in both urban and rural settings. Such images are shown to have articulated concerns about the impact of female literacy on labour environments and family life while, in many cases, challenging conventions of gendered reading. The book also presents an alternative way of conceiving of modernity in relation to nineteenth-century art, a methodological departure from much recent art historical literature. Artists discussed range from Manet, Cassatt and Degas, to less familiar figures such as Lavieille, Carrière, Toulmouche and Tissot.
The Art Book Tradition in Twentieth-Century Europe (Ashgate, 2013): This collection of essays analyzes a series of experiments between visual imagery and poetic language that took place in Europe from the 1920s to the 1980s. The book traces a trajectory of word/image relations in a variety of 'art books' (including the livre d'artiste) and examines attempts made by a variety of poets and artists to challenge prevailing hierarchies between texts and images, to fuse different artistic forms within the format of the book, and to use language as a means of expressing or deconstructing visual art.
I am also editing and contributing to an essay collection entitled Interactive Contemporary Art: Participation in Practice (forthcoming I.B.Tauris, 2013). This collection draws together scholars, curators and artists for the purpose of advancing debate about the social, ethical, and aesthetic potential of recent participatory art forms. The book offers detailed analyses of works that are at the forefront of interactive practices in a wide range of media, teases apart different concepts of 'interactivity', 'relational art', 'performance', and 'participation', and engages with the latest theoretical writings on these subjects.
I am completing a monograph on the livres d'artiste of Henri Matisse.
Direct and indirect funding
Visiting Research Fellowship (funded) at the Humanities Research Centre of the Australian National University, Canberra (2013).
Travel grant awarded by the Institut national d'histoire de l'art (Paris) to undertake research in Paris (2012).
US$ 5,000 grant by the Shpilman Institute for Photography for the purposes of carrying out research for a project entitled 'Photography, Poetry, and Sculpture: La Mort et les statues by Pierre Jahan and Jean Cocteau' (awarded 2011).
Claude Pichois fellowship to carry out research at the W.T. Bandy Institute for Baudelaire and Modern French Studies, Vanderbilt University (2009).
'Testing Pictorial Order: The Limits of Fictional Space in Nineteenth-Century French Painting', Society for Nineteenth-Century French Studies, Philadelphia, 2011.
'Revealing Bodies: Tactility and Embodiment from Sculpture to Computer Art', Towards a Contemporary Aesthetic Education, Tilburg University, 2011.
'Facingness and Fictional Space in the Works of Édouard Manet and Rafael Lozano-Hemmer', Association of Art Historians, Warwick University, 2011
'Influence as Appropriation of the Creative Gesture: Matisse's Poèmes de Charles D'Orléans', Reid Hall, Paris, 2011.
'New Interactive Practices in Contemporary Art', Session Chair and Presenter, Association of Art Historians, Warwick, 2011.
'Reading and Repetition in Henri Matisse's Livres d'artiste', College Art Association, New York, 2011.
'Imagining Literacy: Working Women in Nineteenth-Century French Painting', Annual Conference of the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing, Helsinki, 2010.
Reading Resemblance: The Family as Interpretive Community', paper presented at the annual conference of the Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies Association, Austin, Texas, April 2010.
'Monumental Vision: Constructing Cédric Klapisch's Paris': Paper presented at the Mid-Western meeting of the Modern Languages Association, St. Louis, Missouri, November, 2009.
'Liberty or Licence: Tolerating Art in a Liberal Society': Paper presented at the International Conference on Art and Society, Venice, July 2009.
'Enacting Beauty: Matisse, Baudelaire and Les Fleurs du mal': Paper presented at a colloquium entitled Picturing Language: The Art Book Tradition in Twentieth-Century Europe, University of Kent, June 2009.
'The Aesthetics of Presence: Looking at Degas's Bathers': Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Association of Art Historians, Manchester, April 2009.
'A Load of Hot Air: Balloon Travel and the Rhetoric of Empire': Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Society of Dix-Neuviémistes, University of Bristol, March 2009.
'Mapping Urban Experience in Contemporary Art: Mark Bradford and Julie Mehretu': Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Urban Geography Research Group, Queen Mary College, University of London, November 2008.
'The Book as Object and Event in the Works of John Latham': Paper presented at the International Conference on the Book, Washington D.C., October 2008.
'The Spectator as Performer': Paper presented at the annual conference of the Theatre and Performance Research Association, University of Leeds, September 2008.
'Replacing Art: Museums and the Street': Paper presented at the International Conference on the Inclusive Museum, Leiden, The Netherlands, June 2008.
'Nostalgia and Identity: Prefiguring the Twentieth-Century Woman': Paper presented at a conference on Nostalgia and the Shapes of History, Queen Mary College, University of London, June 2008.
'Domestic Dystopias: Satirizing Socialism in Nineteenth-Century France': Paper presented at the Politics and Propaganda conference held by the Nineteenth-Century Studies Association, Florida International University, Miami, April 2008.
'Reading Bodies: Figuring Female Secrecy in Nineteenth-Century French Painting': Paper pre
Current courses taught at Tilburg University:
- Law and Film (Liberal Arts, first year course)
- Contemporary Art in the Public Sphere (Liberal Arts, second year course)
- Law, Ethics, and the Art World (BA hons course)
- Art and Globalization
K.J. Brown teaches the following subjects:
Teaching activities elsewhere
Previous courses taught at other universities include the following:
- Fourth year and MA seminar on nineteenth-century French painting (University of British Columbia)
- Second and Third year course: Art and sculpture in Europe and North America from the Renaissance to the Present (University of British Columbia)
- First year introductory course on Non-Western Art (University of British Columbia)
- Third year course on contemporary French cinema (University of Kent)
- Final year paper on nineteenth-century French poetry and prose (St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford)
Room D 222
PO Box 90153
5000 LE Tilburg
Last amended: 26 August 2013