Emeritus Professor Anthea Callen

Dip.AD (B'ham) MA (Leicester) PhD (Courtauld Inst)
Professor of Art: Practice-led Research
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
T: 02-6125-5806

Areas of expertise

  • Art History 190102
  • Visual Cultures 190104
  • Art Theory 190103

Research interests

Nineteenth and twentieth century French and British Art; the history of artists' materials and techniques; the history of the artist's studio and plein air painting in France; art, science & medicine; representations of the body; visual cultures of gender and difference; nineteenth century arts and crafts in Britain and the USA. 


Anthea Callen is Professor of Art (Practice-led Research) in the School of Art, College of Arts and Social Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra. She is also Professor Emeritus of Visual Culture at the University of Nottingham, UK, and Honorary Research Associate at the Institute of Health, University of Warwick, UK. She trained as a painter and print-maker at Birmingham College of Art and Design (UK, now Birmingham City University) before embarking on a career in art history. She spent two years researching in Paris at the Sorbonne (British Institute), gained her MA by Research in Art History from Leicester University and her PhD from the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London. She has received a number of major fellowships and awards and has served on important International and British national academic and scholarly bodies.

Anthea Callen is a scholar and a painter. Her expertise in art history, visual culture and the gender politics of visual representation spans the eighteenth to twentieth centuries, notably on France and Britain; her research specialism in nineteenth-century artists' materials and techniques means she works regularly with museum conservators and curators. As a painter she has a strong personal and professional interest in twentieth century modernism and contemporary art, especially feminist/women's art practice.

Anthea Callen lives and works in Canberra, Australia, Leamington Spa (UK) and the South of France.

Researcher's projects

Anthea Callen is published extensively, with single-authored and edited books, book chapters, articles in scholarly journals and essays. Her most recent book chapter, on Seurat's drawings, appears in Seurat Re-viewed (ed. Paul Smith, 2010) and her paper on 'The Matter of Painting : La Matière de la peinture' was published in the Actes de Colloque Histoire de l’art au XIXe siècle (1848-1914). Bilans et perspectives in the collection « Rencontres de l’École du Louvre » 2012. She is currently completing the Introduction to the National Gallery of Art Washington DC's new Systematic Catalogue of late nineteenth-century French painting, to be published on line. Her new book for Yale University Press on the male body and issues of masculinity is nearing completion. Her latest research is for a book on painters' studios and plein air painting methods in nineteenth-century France.

A frequent visiting professor and international speaker, Callen gives public lectures, plenary talks and conference papers in many countries including the USA, Canada, Australia, and in Continental Europe and the UK.


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Updated:  23 July 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers