Christiana Herringham and the Art Collection of Royal Holloway and Bedford New College

Michaela Jones

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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This thesis explores the life, work, and influence of Christiana Herringham (1852-1929); a central figure in the late Victorian and Edwardian art world. This thesis is the first academic study to place Herringham’s artworks at the centre of the discussion and includes the first catalogue raisonné of the Herringham Collection at Royal Holloway, University of London. By utilising a wide range of sources and an interdisciplinary approach, this thesis provides a greater understanding of Herringham’s achievements and places them in the wider context. It makes an important contribution to the fields of both feminist history and art history by uncovering how some women were able, despite the challenges they faced, to contribute to the cultural sphere at the turn of the twentieth century.
The thesis draws upon the strengths of the collection to explore the major themes in Herringham’s work. The first chapter considers the impact of gender on Herringham’s artistic practice. It examines the obstacles that women faced; the societal expectations placed on their work; and discusses how these factors impacted Herringham’s own work. Chapter two employs Herringham’s tempera copies and her translation to discuss her technique and her role in the British Tempera Revival. The third chapter analyses Herringham’s contributions as an art writer. In addition to examining Herringham’s own work, it places her writings in the wider context and compares her experiences to those of other contemporary women art writers. The final chapter investigates Herringham’s representations of India, including her copies of the Ajanta frescoes, her sketches and watercolours of the country, and her photographs. It examines how these representations differ and places them in the wider imperial context. These chapters are supported by the catalogue raisonné, which includes all the works in the Herringham Collection, and includes new identifications and information about each of the works. 
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Moss, Stella, Supervisor
  • MacCulloch, Laura, Supervisor, External person
Award date1 Jan 2020
Publication statusUnpublished - 2020


  • Christiana Herringham
  • history
  • History of art
  • Visual culture
  • women artists
  • Women's History
  • British history
  • gender
  • British tempera revival
  • Imperialism
  • professional identity
  • catalogue raisonne
  • 19th century
  • 20th century

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