Gemma Blackshaw, Professor of Art History at the Royal College of Art, London, has an international reputation for research on the art and visual culture of ‘Vienna 1900’.

She curated the ‘original, inquisitive and courageous’, ‘complicated, probing and philosophically fascinating’ exhibition Facing the Modern: The Portrait in Vienna 1900 for the National Gallery, London in 2013. She co-curated Madness & Modernity: Mental Illness and the Visual Arts in Vienna 1900 at the Wellcome Collection, London, in 2009, which, as a result of its reception, was restaged in an expanded form at the Wien Museum, Vienna, in 2010. Her revisionist work on Egon Schiele has been characterised as ‘densely documented, rigorously argued and delightfully astute’.

Connecting art historical research with curatorial practice, Gemma Blackshaw works across universities, galleries, museums and studios, with academics, archivists, curators and artists. Committed to developing new methods for approaching the study and appreciation of modern art in a contemporary context, she leads, facilitates and participates in public-facing projects with people from the creative and cultural industries.

Research Interests

  • Art and culture in 'Vienna 1900'
  • Gender, modernism and the archive
  • Intersections of modernist portraiture and figuration with clinical medicine
  • Contemporary art and writings which engage with sickness
  • Critical approaches to the medical humanities
  • Feminist art histories; reparative art histories
  • Theories of embodiment
  • Care (of histories, people, objects, personal effects)
  • Correspondence and creative writing (expanded art histories)
  • Feminist, Queer and Auto theory
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Photo © JP Masclet