Skip to main content Skip to navigation


Our impact

Enhancing cultural life, understanding and pleasure

Using our research to inform and inspire public exhibitions, and delivering public talks and seminars

Informing cultural policy

Providing first-hand evidence to shape policies towards the conservation of our built heritage in England and Scotland

Supporting the work of museums and galleries in engaging the public with the rich artistic tradition of Britain

Researching and cataloguing important primary materials and improving display and interpretation in museums and galleries for the public

The department's research strengths lie in Northern Italian Art, British Art and Aesthetics across all historical periods form the medieval to the contemporary. Scholarly explorations in these fields have brought significant benefits to our partners, national and international museums and galleries, and to members of the general public. Our research has been used by the Louvre, the Yale Center for British Art, the National Gallery, the V&A Museum and many others to enhance the way in which they present their collections to the public and to inform their exhibitions. Our research has also improved the conservation of Britain's built heritage. Public talks and workshops have brought our research directly to the public. In doing so, it has enhanced cultural life, understanding and brought pleasure to many.

Recreating the Santa Chiara Chapel in the V&A museum

Santa Chiara Chapel redisplayed in the V&A Medieval and Renaissance GalleriesDonal Cooper
Associate Professor
The Santa Chiara Chapel was once one of Florence's best preserved Renaissance churches. However, the purchase of the high altar by the V&A Museum in 1861 removed the altar from its physical context. It was not until 2009 when, thanks to the research of Donal Cooper, the altar was re-contextualised in its original physical context. Through detailed study of the remaining chapel building in Florence, Cooper was able to re-create the chapel's interior in the V&A's Medieval and Renaissance Gallery, advancing the work of the gallery's curators and enhancing the visitor experience for all those who came to the museum.

The life and work of Sir Basil Spence

Sir Basil SpenceLouise Campbell
Sir Basil Spence was one of the most important and prolific architects in 20th-century Britain, yet his great contribution to rebuilding Britain in the post-war period has been largely overlooked in recent decades. This AHRC-funded project led by Warwick's Louise Campbell provided a re-assessment of Spence's life and work, leading to a new understanding of 20th-century architecture. The research informed the listing and conserving policies of Historic Scotland and English Heritage, which put a blue plaque on Spence's London home and office in 2011.

Professor Campbell's research and publications on Coventry Cathedral have been of enormous use to our campaign to tackle the problems faced by the ailing ruins of Coventry's medieval cathedral.

— Jonathan Foyle, Chief Executive
World Monuments Fund Britain