Call for Papers | ‘From Keeper to Maker: British Curatorial Practices’

Following the British Curatorial Practices session at the Association for Art History 2021 Conference, we are now looking for article proposals on the same topic in view of publication in a special issue of a peer reviewed journal 


Since the mid-to-late 19th century, curators worldwide have adapted from the scholarly and administrative art expert archetype (George, 2015) to one that ‘possesses an authorial/artistic function’ (O’Neill, 2012), in which the ‘making’ takes centre stage (Acord, 2010). Have British curators followed the same evolution, or are there distinctive characteristics that have historically set them apart from their colleagues abroad? 

Through a series of case studies covering a range of periods, art forms, circumstances and locations within the country, this special issue will discuss the history of curators in Britain, reflecting on how they have engaged with their economic, political, and professional contexts from Victorian times to the present day (Black, 2000). Moving away from the notion of centre vs periphery to consider instead the constellation of practices taking place across the country, this special issue will explore the distinctiveness of British curatorial training and practices over time, whilst researching the impact of curation on the art market and art education; and articulating the networks established with artists, institutions, colleagues, critics, connoisseurs, private collectors, commercial art galleries and public powers. In doing so, the issue will shed light on concepts of internationalism and Britishness in curatorial discourses, as well as exploring class and gender inclusion in the profession.

Publication Timeline

  • 24/10/2021: Deadline for abstracts (c.250 words) and biographies (c.100 words)
  • November 2021: Selection of proposals and contact with authors
  • 30/04/2022: Deadline for article drafts (up to 7,000 words) 
  • May – June 2022: Peer revision of articles
  • July – September 2022: Authors’ revision and resubmission
  • Autumn 2022: Editors to finalise and submit full manuscript for publication.

More information

We are looking forward to your contribution: Dr Laia Anguix, University of Oxford; Dr Elisabetta Fabrizi, Newcastle University; Dr Massimiliano Papini, Northumbria University.