History of Art


Tom Cornelius

PhD supervisor: Dr Stephanie Schwartz
Working title for PhD: 'American Surfaces: Topographies of the New West'

My dissertation takes photographer Stephen Shore’s oeuvre as a framework through which to rethink our canonical histories of American landscape photography. I eschew a monographic lens, however, to interrogate Shore’s work through its institutional framing. I investigate how figurations of the American landscape in the 1960s and 1970s – by Shore as well as by contemporaries William Eggleston, Joel Sternfeld, and Joel Meyerowitz – presented the physical and cultural terrains of the new West as part of a burgeoning visual language of snapshots, lavish colour, and theretofore overlooked vernacular scenes.

Before beginning my PhD at UCL I studied at the Universities of Manchester, North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Cambridge, with an interest in literary and visual cultures of the US. I have also spent time working in the arts, most recently in the Publishing team at Tate. My PhD is funded by a UCL Critical Histories of Art Studentship. 


  • University of Manchester Dennis Welland Prize for Exceptional Academic Achievement
  • University of Manchester George Gissing Memorial Prize for Literature