Ms Johanna Holmes

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Personal profile

Research Interests

I am a fourth year PhD student writing up my research into women's work and careers in the art world in the period 1820-1860.  Beneath the surface of celebrity and relative wealth which some painters and paintings of this period enjoyed, a large population of men and women in London were making imagery, bringing it to the public in exhibitions and printed material, teaching others to produce it and creating new models of the ideal man or woman. Contrary to popular assumptions today, and to nineteenth-century visual representations of womanhood, many persistent, talented, forceful women engaged in this business, a number of them pursuing working careers of thirty or forty (or more) years.  They were brought up and educated expecting to work to keep themselves, to have a degree of self-determination and purpose, to make best use of their talents and to feed and educate their children if necessary.  Their gender placed considerable restrictions on the activites which they pursued and their degree of economic success, but it is instructive to consider their experience in terms comparable with today's workplace.


I am a member of the Women's Studies Group (1558-1837) and the Centre for Printing History and Culture.

Education and career

BA (Hons) English & Related Literature, University of York (1969-1972)

Executive and consultancy work in social housing and youth homelessness (1973-2013)


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