Caroline Arscott

Caroline Arscott


Former affiliations
  • Strand, Somerset House

    WC2R 0RN London

    United Kingdom


Research activity per year

Personal profile


Caroline Arscott has lectured at The Courtauld since 1988: extending her study of the Victorian art world from an initial focus on modern life painting in the 1840s and 1850s into work on the pre-Victorian period (in relation to urban topography) and on the late Victorian period (in relation to the Aesthetic Movement). Her publications include articles on a wide range of Victorian artists including William Holman Hunt, Gibson, Millais, Leighton, Poynter, Whistler, Sickert, Tissot, Fildes, Scharf and Frith. She collaborated with Katie Scott in the publication of essays on art and sexuality, Manifestations of Venus (Manchester University Press, Manchester, 2000). In 2008 she published William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones: Interlacings, (Yale University Press, New Haven and London). This book addresses technical features of body building, the armaments industry, horticulture, angling and Victorian tattooing in its discussion of the work of Morris and Burne-Jones. She has an interest in scientific thought and technologies of the nineteenth century and is currently involved in a research collaboration between The Courtauld and University of California, Caltech on art and scientific modelling (Modeling Modelling) and another project with King’s College, London on art, literature and communications technologies of the Victorian period (Scrambled Messages).

She was a member of the Editorial Board of the Oxford Art Journal from 1998-2008 and continues to serve as Advisory Editor. Caroline was also local UK editor for RIHA (2009-2014).  She was a member of the Council of the Paul Mellon Centre Advisory Council (2009-2013).  From 2009 until 2014 she was Head of Research at The Courtauld with responsibility for the Research Forum programme of activities and for The Courtauld’s research strategy and Research Excellence Framework (REF) submission.  She was Senior Fellow at the Paul Mellon Centre for the Study of British Art in 2014-15, preparing a book on art and science in the 1870s.

PhD Students


  • Carey Gibbons, ‘Victorian Illustration: Arthur Hughes and Frederick Sandys’
  • Lily Foster, ‘Painting the Modern Apartment: Domestic Interiors by Harold Gilman and Edouard Vuillard, 1910-1919’
  • Natalie Hume, ‘The Graphic Representation of America in Britain, 1865–1900’
  • Thomas Hughes, ‘The language of art writing in the later nineteenth century’

Recently completed

  • Marion Richards, ‘Salon Criticism of French Landscape Painting, 1855-1867’
  • Anna Kirk, ‘”Composed of the same materials” : like-dressing and the dress of the doppelgänger in Victorian art and culture, c.1855 – c.1885’
  • Katie Faukner, ‘The Wrapped Body in the New Sculpture Movement (1880-1900)’
  • Freya Roo Gunzi, ‘Stanhope A. Forbes: Constructing Newlyn, 1885-1911’
  • Esmé Whittaker, ‘The Arts and Crafts house in the Lake District: buildings, landscapes and communities’
  • Ayla Lepine, ‘Sacred beauty : George Frederick Bodley’s designs for Oxford and Cambridge, 1858-1907’
  • Keren Hammerschlag, ‘Death and violence in the art of Frederic Leighton’
  • Lucetta Johnson, ‘Beyond the hairline : the representation of hair in the work of Gabriel Dante Rossetti’

Current & Recent Exhibitions and Projects

  • Co-Curator with Professor Clare Pettitt, King’s College London, Victorians Decoded: Art and Telegraphy, The Guildhall Art Gallery, London, Sep 2016 - Jan 2017

Education/Academic qualification

Modern-Life Subjects in British Painting 1840-60

1979Jun 1988

University of Leeds


Newnham College Cambridge

1975Jun 1978

External positions

Yale Center for British Art

Sept 2014Nov 2014

Paul Mellon Centre for Study of British Art


Paul Mellon Centre


RIHA Journal


University of Leeds


Oxford Art Journal


University College, London


University of California, Berkeley

Jan 1995May 1995

Cardiff Institute, University of Wales


University of Leeds


University of Leeds



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