History of Art


Bob Mills awarded 2024 Art History Residency

26 September 2023

Congratulations to our brilliant Head of Department, Professor Bob Mills, who has been awarded the fourth Art History Residency by The Association for Art History and the Ampersand Foundation!

stone carving

The residency offers a researcher the opportunity for concentrated time to further their work at Wigwell Lodge in the beautiful Derbyshire countryside. It will run from October 2024 to January 2025.

Bob’s research during the residency will focus on imagery of wildness in England and northwest Europe c.1200 to 1500. A key aim of the project, Wild Forms in Medieval Art, is to pioneer an ecocritical approach to visual culture in the period. Case studies include artistic encounters with wild but captured animals such as elephants and lions; hunting manuals, which drew on their makers’ lived experiences of wild creatures and environments; illustrated commentaries on Aristotle’s biological works, which represent nonhuman sex as a site of pleasurable bewilderment; biblical, hagiographic and cartographic imagery of wilderness landscapes, such as deserts, as spaces for trial and transformation; and the emergence of wild folk or ‘wodewoses’ in ecclesiastical art and architecture.

Image credit: Wild man, first quarter of fifteenth century. Relief on spandrels of west entrance, St Agnes’s church, Cawston (Norfolk). Photo: Bob Mills.

Read about Bob Mills's 2024 Art History Residency