Christine Stevenson

Christine Stevenson

Professor of History of Art

  • Strand, Somerset House

    WC2R 0RN London

    United Kingdom

1983 …2016

Research activity per year

Personal profile


Christine Stevenson began teaching at The Courtauld in 2002, after ten years as a lecturer at the University of Reading and, previously, work as an academic editor at the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine and the Grove (now OUP) Dictionary of Art. Research for her previous book, Medicine and Magnificence: British Hospital and Asylum Architecture, 1660-1815 (Yale, 2000) led imperceptibly into that for her most recent, The City and the King: Politics and Architecture in Resotration London (2013), which was short-listed for the Longman-History Today Book Prize, the William M. Berger Prize for British Art History, the Alice Davis Hitchcock Medallion, and the Art Book Prize. It was runner-up for the Spiro Kostof Book Award (2016), given to a 'work in any discipline related to urban history that has made the greatest contribution to our understanding of historical development and change’ by the Society of Architectural Historians (of North America).

Christine is now working on a project grounding the question of what architectural 'design' means -- in both the early modern period and today -- in the identification of the social, economic, and power relations operating among British craftsmen, architects, and patrons in the sixty or so years after the restoration of the monarchy in 1660. All her teaching and writing is driven by the conviction that to understand how a society builds, and then how it mediates its architecture and built spaces, is to go a long way to understanding that society.

Research interests

  • Single rooms
  • Models
  • Architecture and memory
  • Architectural destruction
  • Buildings and the body
  • Festival and ephemeral architecture
  • Topographical prints


  • Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London (elected 2007)


  • BA History of Art Year 1: ‘European Architecture, c.1480 to c.1820: Case Studies’
  • BA History of Art Year 2: Texts and Contexts: ‘Monuments and Memory’
  • MA History of Art: Modernity and Antiquity in British Architecture, 1615-1815

PhD Students


  • Kyle Leyden: ‘“The Epitome of the Kingdom”: Palladianism, Politics and the Fashioning of Irish National Identity’
  • Harry Adams, ‘Imagining a Modern Metropolis: George Dance the Younger’s Urban Planning and the Identity of the City of London, 1768-1815’
  • Sanjay Dhar, ‘The Assessment and Management of Risk to Buddhist Wall Paintings in Ladakh’ (with Emily Howe and Professor Deborah Swallow)

Recently completed

  • Emily Mann, ‘Architecture and the Negotiation of Empire in the Early Modern Atlantic World’ (2016)
  • Philippa Potts,‘“Tapers to Candles”: Stuart Ambassadors in English Garden History’ (2016)
  • Jenny Saunt, ‘Decorative Plasterwork in England: Form, Materiality and Making from 1660 to 1700’ (2016, with Professor Katie Scott)
  • Anya Matthews, ‘The Architectural Development and Political Uses of London’s Livery Halls, 1603-1684’ (2015)
  • Jocelyn Anderson: ‘Remaking the Country House: Country-House Guidebooks in the Late Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries’ (2013)

Other Ongoing Activities

  • Member of the international editorial Advisory Panel of Architectural History

Education/Academic qualification

'The Design of Prisons and Mental Hospitals in the Neoclassical Period, with special reference to the work of C. F. Hansen (1756–1845)͛', The Courtauld Institute of Art

… → 1986

'John Wood the Elder and The Origin of Building', The Courtauld Institute of Art

… → 1981

University of Victoria

… → 1979

University of Victoria

… → 1975

External positions

University of Reading


University of Warwick