Previous Research Funding Recipients


Here you can see examples of researchers who have received funding from BAVS for their projects.


Frances Varley (Courtald Institute of Art): Collecting, Identity, and the Region in Manchester and Philadelphia, c.1870-1914:

My PhD project explores art collecting in the late-nineteenth century in Manchester and Philadelphia. It considers the ways in which art collecting was used in the negotiation of individual, local, and national identities in the period through a series of comparative case studies. It seeks to reimagine narratives of nineteenth century collecting and argues for art collecting as a vital tool for social interaction. Support from BAVS has contributed to a trip to the United States in order to undertake primary research on William H. Dorsey, an African American artist, historian, and collector in Philadelphia who compiled a remarkable series of notebooks and scrapbooks that documented the cultural history of people of colour in the United States


Michelle Reynolds (University of Exeter), ‘The New Woman Illustrator at the British Fin de Siècle‘:

‘My research project looks at women illustrators in Britain and their relationship to the New Woman. Although the study of the professionalism of women artists in the nineteenth century has been the subject of several texts, women illustrators tend to be understudied. In addition to investigating the lives and works of women illustrators, this project aims to expand our understanding of the New Woman and how she inspired not only writers but artists as well. I am also considering the New Woman’s visual representation and how women illustrators contributed to this representation with imagery that went beyond caricatures. With the support of BAVS, I will visit the Women’s Library and the British Library to consult feminist/suffragist periodicals and art/literary magazines that women illustrators contributed work to as well as children’s books and illustrated volumes of poetry. By consulting these items, I hope to add to our knowledge of the role of women illustrators in late Victorian print culture as well as how women illustrators addressed and subverted traditional depictions of femininity.’


Brittany Anne Carlson (University of California, Riverside), ‘(Re)mediating Math Anxieties with The Narrative, the Ephemeral, and the Visual, 1830-1940’


Frankie Dytor (University of Cambridge), ‘The reanimation of the renaissance, 1855 – 1929’


Eliza Goodpasture (University of York), ‘Kindred Spirits: Friendship and Ambition Among Female Artists, 1870-1914’


Rose Roberto (Bishop Grossetteste University), ‘Mapping Antarctic Knowledge in popular culture from 1830–1910’

With the help of funding from BAVS, my research project aims to examine the circulation of Victorian scientific knowledge as told through maps of the Long 19th-century that were widely circulated in reference books, school textbooks, and popular literature, by publishers with educational mandates. As techniques for the graphical presentation of data became more widely available throughout the 1800s, cartographers produced maps not just for military, legal, and transport purposes, but also for educators and commercial publishers. While many historical studies of Antarctica and Antarctic exploration have been conducted, most of them have focused on the zenith of the Heroic Age (1912–1922) or on 20th-century personalities and scientific discoveries. This study looks at graphical content in Antarctic regional maps, which made their way to general audiences before 1910. Funding from BAVS helps to cover a to visit the Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI) in Cambridge in order to identify specific maps that were produced after the four specific expeditions.


Verity Burke (University of Stavanger) and Anna Barry (Royal College of Music, London), ‘Behind the Mask: Death Masks on Display’

Barry and Burke are currently undertaking a comprehensive study of the nineteenth-century death mask. The major goals of this project are to investigate the material culture of death and the narratives around it, and develop a new vocabulary and classification system to promote a more sophisticated understanding of funerary plasters. The project integrates a literary understanding of the historical documents surrounding death masks, including archival letters, labels, museum catalogues and exhibition reviews to reveal the complex, interdisciplinary intersections between museum culture, celebrity relics, tourism and crime. BAVS Research Funding was awarded to support work at several key collections in Vienna. Masks and post-mortem art will be examined at the Wien Museum (which holds one of Europe’s most extensive death mask collections), the Narrenturm and the Josephinum, alongside consultation of supporting documents in their museum archives.


Clarice Bland (University College Dublin), ‘Writing the Garden: Women Gardeners and Print Culture in Britain, 1840-1900’

My research project focuses on the intersection between gardens, class, and the women who wrote about them in 19th century Britain. More specifically, how women portrayed their connection to gardens and nature and used their texts as a site of social and gender commentary. Women became conscientious cultivators who used their gardening publications as pragmatic sites to challenge their sex and the “angel of the house” mythology. However, as middle-class women were the predominant authors and readers of these texts, they also used them as a vehicle for dictating the common discourse surrounding working-class women. The “cottage gardener” had long been considered to be synonymous with the working class, but my research will also show that this also changed over time and the working-class woman gardener also was able to use gardening texts to assert herself.


Pola Durajska (University of York), ‘Nature, Science, and Myth in the Landscape Art of Frederic Leighton’
I am currently finishing my doctoral project entitled ‘Nature, Science, and Myth in the Landscape Art of Frederic Leighton’, which focuses on the largely unexplored en plein air oeuvre of the President of the Royal Academy (1878-1896). The BAVS Research Funding Award enabled me to examine eight of his oil sketches in person, travelling to Beatrix Potter’s Hill Top, the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery in Swansea, and the National Museum in Cardiff. The viewed works represent well the great variety of Leighton’s subjects, styles, and formats over the four decades of his landscape oil sketching practice, often tailored to the specificities of the depict places, which ranged from the islands on the Mediterranean to the coast of Ireland.


Gursimran Oberoi (University of Surrey and Watts Gallery), ‘Global Watts: Allegories for All’
With the generous support of the British Association for Victorian Studies’ Research Funding Award, I visited the Getty Research Institute in the winter of 2018 as part of my doctoral project, ‘Global Watts: Allegories for All’, with the University of Surrey and Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village. I examined G. F. Watts’s correspondence and the papers of his wider artistic networks who include Sir Charles Eastlake, Joseph Edgar Boehm, Walter Crane and Ford M. Brown. These influential artists and art historians forged regional, national, and transnational networks across the West to the East, circulating and promoting Watts as Victorian Celebrity to a global audience. Access to these archives provided invaluable insights into the in/visible mechanisms which advanced Watts’s international recognition. I’m incredibly grateful to BAVS for supporting me to complete this important research!