Professor Emeritus Helen Ennis

Former Director, Centre for Art History and Art Theory
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences

Areas of expertise

  • Art Criticism 190101
  • Art Theory 190103
  • Art History 190102

Research interests

Photography, histories of photography, art history, visual arts, biography, death studies, museology and curatorship.


Helen was Director of the Centre for Art History and Art Theory at the School of Art and Design from 2014-18 and was appointed the Sir William Dobell Chair of Art History in 2014. She was formerly Curator of Photography at the National Gallery of Australia, 1985-92, before joining the Art Theory Workshop at ANU School of Art in 1995. She specialises in histories of Australian photography and biography, with a particular focus on the work of women photographers.

Her major publications include Olive Cotton: A life in photography, 2019, Margaret Michaelils: Love, loss and photography, 2005, Photography and Australia, and Reveries: Photography and mortality. She is currently writing a biography of Australian modernist photographer Max Dupain.

Helen is a Fellow of the Academy of the Humanities. In 2020 she was awarded the Magarey Medal for Biography and in 2021 she received the Royal Photographic Society's J Dudley Johnston Medal for 'major achievement in the history of photography'.


Return to top

Updated:  25 July 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers