Participant Info

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Last Name
Honorary Professor, University College London; previously Curator of 16th & 17th Century British Art at Tate Britain
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Migrant artists in 16th & 17th century Britain, Tudor art, Elizabethan art, Jacobean art, Stuart art, Elizabeth I portraits, British-Netherlandish artistic links, 16th & 17th-century British art and material culture, pregnancy portraits, portrait miniatures, Anthony van Dyck, Nicholas Hilliard, Cornelius Johnson, historical representations of pregnancy, embroidery in portraits, beauty spots in portraits
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About Me

In 2020, I curated the exhibition “Portraying Pregnancy: from Holbein to Social Media” at The Foundling Museum, London.

In 2015, I curated the exhibition “Cornelius Johnson: Charles I’s Forgotten Painter” at the National Portrait Gallery, London.

In 2012 I curated the Tate Britain exhibition “Rubens and Britain”.

Also in 2012, I conceived the idea for, and co-curated, the Tate Britain exhibition “Migrations: Journeys into British Art”, about the central role of migrant artists in British art.

In 2009, I curated the major Tate Britain exhibition, “Van Dyck and Britain”.

In 2002-3, I curated the Tate Britain exhibition “Marcus Gheeraerts II: Elizabethan Artist”.

In 1995-6, I was the Curator of the influential Tate Britain exhibition in London, “Dynasties: Painting in Tudor and Jacobean England 1530-1630”. My catalogue for this continues to be a standard teaching text. For this project, I received a European Woman of Achievement Award.

Recent Publications

Magnifying Miniatures: Nicholas Hilliard & Isaac Oliver in The Portland Collection, 2021 – Gallery Talk // Magnifying Miniatures // Karen Hearn –

Mildred Cooke Cecil: Pregnancy Portrayed in Elizabethan England – University of Hertfordshire Chancellor’s Lecture 2021

“Portraying Pregnancy: from Holbein to Social Media”, London, 2020.

‘Van Dyck’s London Studio’, essay in “Antoon van Dyck e l’Europa Delle Corti”, exhibition catalogue, Galleria Sabauda, Royal Museums, Turin, 2018 .

“Cornelius Johnson 1593-1661″, London, 2015.

‘”Picture-drawer, born at Antwerp”: Migrant Artists in Jacobean London’, in “Painting in Britain 1500-1630: Production, Influences & Patronage”, British Academy, 2015, pp. 278-28.

“Rubens & Britain”, Tate Britain, London, 2011.

“Van Dyck & Britain”, exhibition catalogue, Tate Britain, London, 2009.

‘Lady Anne Clifford’s “Great Triptych”‘, in “Lady Anne Clifford: Culture, Patronage and Gender in Seventeenth-Century Britain”, in Karen Hearn and Lynn Hulse, eds, Leeds, 2009, pp. 1-24.

‘Saved through childbearing: a Godly Context for Elizabethan Pregnancy Portraits’, in Tara Hamling and Richard L Williams, eds, “Art Re-formed”, Newcastle, 2007.

“Nathaniel Bacon: Artist, Gentleman, Gardener”, London, 2005.


Media Coverage'Netherlandish Painters Active in Britain in the 16th & 17th Centuries'
Country Focus
United Kingdom The Netherlands Flanders
Expertise by Geography
England, Western Europe
Expertise by Chronology
Pre-17th century, 17th century
Expertise by Topic
Art & Architectural History, Material Culture, Migration & Immigration, Women