Frances Spalding is an art historian, critic and biographer
She read art history at the University of Nottingham and began writing pieces for the TLS, The Burlington Magazine and art journals while still a post-graduate. She has a specialist interest in twentieth-century British art and first established her reputation with Roger Fry: Art and Life. She went on to write lives of the artists Vanessa Bell, John Minton, Duncan Grant, Gwen Raverat and John and Myfanwy Piper, as well as a biography of the poet Stevie Smith. Her survey history, British Art since 1900, in the Thames & Hudson World of Art series, has been widely used in schools, colleges and universities, and in the mid-1990s she was commissioned by Tate to write a centenary history of this national institution. Between 2000 and 2015, she taught at Newcastle University, becoming Professor of Art History. She acted as Editor of The Burlington Magazine, 2015-16, and is now is 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 made a CBE for Services to Literature.
In late May 2022, Thames & Hudson are publishing The Real and the Romantic: English Art between Two World Wars. Frances will be talking about this new book at literary festivals at Oxford, Cambridge, Bath, Hay-on Wye, Buxton, Wells and at the Charleston Festival in Sussex. At Charleston she will share the platform with Nino Strachey and Mark Hussey. She will also be talking about aspects of her new book to ARTescapades on 6th June 2022.
Other commitments this year include a lecture on Eileen Agar and her ambiguous relationship with Surrealism, which Frances will deliver at Leeds Art Gallery (30 April 2022, 1.30-3.00pm). She is doing an online presentation on The Making of Bloomsbury, for the National Portrait Gallery (19th April 2022), in connection with a touring exhibition on Bloomsbury. She will also address this topic from similar but also different points of view at York Art Gallery (7th May 2022). A keynote lecture on Helen Sutherland and David Jones will form part of the David Jones Research Project annual conference, taking place in Edinburgh and Washington DC.