Professor Frances Spalding

Subject: Art history​

Contact details: fs454@cam.ac.uk ​


Research Interests

Frances Spalding is an art historian, critic and biographer. After publishing Roger Fry: Art and Life, she went on to establish her reputation as a specialist in twentieth-century British art. This led to her book, British Art since 1900, for the Thames & Hudson ‘World of Art’ series, which has been widely used in schools, colleges and universities. Then, in the mid-1990s, the Tate commissioned her to write a centenary history of this national institution. She has also devoted much time to the writing of biography, producing lives of the artists Vanessa Bell, John Minton, Duncan Grant, Gwen Raverat,  John and Myfanwy Piper, as well as a critical biography of the poet Stevie Smith. She is also the author of a monograph, Prunella Clough; regions unmapped, and a short introduction to a complex subject titled The Bloomsbury Group. Between 2000 and 2015, she taught at Newcastle University, becoming Professor of Art History. In 2014 she guest-curated, and wrote the accompanying book, for an exhibition on Virginia Woolf at the National Portrait Gallery. She acted as Editor of The Burlington Magazine, 2015-16, and in 2017 she co-curated with Simon Martin the exhibition and book John Minton: A Centenary, for Pallant House, Chichester. She is now an Emeritus Fellow of Clare Hall, Cambridge. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Art and in 2005 was awarded a CBE. Frances Spalding is a regular speaker at conferences, museums, literary festivals and other events.