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Karen Hearn

Karen Hearn

Historian of British art and culture c.1500-c.1710 and exhibition curator. Previously the Curator of 16th & 17th Century British Art at the Tate Galleries (1992-2012). Honorary Professor, Department of English Language and Literature, UCL.

My present areas of research include:

- Representations of pregnancy 

- Artistic migration between the Netherlands and Britain, c.1500-c.1710

- The works, biography and context of the painter Cornelius Johnson [Cornelis Jonson van Ceulen] (1593-1661)

- Anthony Van Dyck's London Studio

Portraiture in Britain and the Northern and Southern Netherlands during the 16th & 17th Centuries

- Women's patronage of the arts in the 16th & 17th Centuries

- The Portraits of Edward VI

Exhibitions Curated

1995-6: Curator of major Tate exhibition, Dynasties: Painting in Tudor and Jacobean England 1530-1630. Editor and principal author of catalogue. Received European Woman of Achievement Award.

1997-8: Co-curator of In Celebration: The Art of the Country House, Tate Gallery exhibition. Catalogue essay on ‘Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century Portraits in Country Houses’.

1999-2000: Co-curator of A Tudor Mystery: The Allegorical Portrait of Sir John Luttrell, Courtauld Galleries, London. Booklet essay on ‘Hans Eworth: Traces of a Biography’.

2002-3: Curator of Tate Britain exhibition Marcus Gheeraerts II: Elizabethan Artist. Author of accompanying Tate book.

2004: Curator of small exhibition Talking Peace 1604: The Somerset House Conference Paintings, at The Gilbert Collection, London. Author of accompanying catalogue booklet.

2005-6: Curator of exhibition Nathaniel Bacon: Artist, Gentleman and Gardener, Tate Britain. Author of accompanying Tate book.

Oct-Dec 2006: Co-curator of exhibition at the Rubenshuis, Antwerp, Royalist Refugees: The Rubenshuis years of William and Margaret Cavendish (1648-1660). Author of catalogue essay and entries.

Feb-May 2009: Curator of major Tate Britain exhibition, Van Dyck and Britain. Editor and principal author of catalogue.

Jan-Aug 2012: Co-curator of Migrations: Journeys into British Art, Tate Britain, and author of catalogue essays ‘Portraiture’ and ‘New Genres’, pp.16-31.

Dec 2011-May 2012: Curator of Rubens and Britain exhibition, Tate Britain, and author of accompanying Tate publication, Rubens and Britain.

Oct 2013 - March 2014: Co-curator of West Country to World's End: The South West in the Tudor Age, Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter.

April-September 2015: Curator of Cornelius Johnson 1593-1661 display at National Portrait Gallery, London (forthcoming).

Other publications include:

'Henry Gibbs: Painter and Gentleman', Burlington Magazine, February 1998, pp.99-101

'Insiders or Outsiders? Overseas-born Artists at the Jacobean Court’, in Randolph Vigne and Charles Littleton, eds., From Strangers to Citizens, Sussex Academic Press, Brighton and Portland, 2001, pp.117-126

‘“Only Matrimony Maketh Children to be Certain …”: Two Elizabethan Pregnancy Portraits’, (co-authored with Pauline Croft), British Art Journal, vol. 3, no. 3, Autumn 2002, pp.19-24

‘A Question of Judgement: Lucy Harington, Countess of Bedford, as Art Patron and Collector’, in The Evolution of English Collecting, Edward Chaney, ed., Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2003.

‘The English Career of Cornelius Johnson’, in Dutch and Flemish Artists in Britain 1550-1700, E Domela, M van de Meij-Tolsma, J Roding, E J Sluijter, B Westerweel, eds, Leiden, 2003, pp. 113 - 29.

'Merchant Patrons for the Painter Siberechts’, in City Merchants and the Arts 1670-1720, Mireille Galinou, ed., Wetherby, 2004

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004 and online, entries on Sir Nathaniel Bacon, John Bettes, Marcus Gheeraerts I, Marcus Gheeraerts II, George Gower, John Hayls, Cornelius Johnson, Cornelis Ketel, Robert and William Peake, and Paul van Somer.

Nathaniel Bacon: Artist, Gentleman, Gardener, Tate Publishing, 2005.

Nicholas Hilliard, Unicorn Press, London 2005.

‘Elizabeth I and the Spanish Armada: A Painting and its Afterlife’, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society 2004, vol.14, 2005, pp.123-40.

‘”Saved through childbearing”: a Godly Context for Elizabethan Pregnancy Portraits’, in Tara Hamling and Richard L Williams, eds, Art Re-formed, Newcastle, 2007, pp.65-70.

‘William Cavendish’s Horse Portraits’, in Horses & Landscapes, The Harley Gallery, Worksop, 2008.

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

‘The Painters’, in Mark Evans, ed, The Lumley Inventory and Pedigree, London, 2010, pp. 55-58.

‘The full-length portrait in early 17th-century Britain’, in The Suffolk Collection, Laura Houliston, ed, Swindon, 2012, pp.28-39.

‘Lely and Holland’, in Peter Lely: A Lyrical Vision, Courtauld Gallery exhibition catalogue, 2012, pp.26-39.

‘“Those Spots for Vanity”: A beauty patch revealed in a portrait by Cornelis Jonson’, in Face Book: Studies on Dutch & Flemish Portraiture of the 16th-18th Centuries, Leiden, 2012, pp.345-50

‘Merchant Class Portraiture in Tudor London: “Customer” Smith’s Commission, 1579/80’ in Treasures of the Royal Courts: Tudors, Stuarts and Russian Tsars, V&A exhibition catalogue, 2013, pp. 36-43.

Co-authored with Natasha Walker & Joyce H. Townsend, 'Tate's Painting of a Man in Tudor Costume: A Sixteenth-Century Portrait or a Nineteenth Century Pastiche', in Tate Papers, online, autumn 2013.

'Art in Britain between 1530 and 1620' and 'Nicholas Hilliard', in West Country to World's End: The South West in the Tudor Age, exhibition catalogue, Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter,  2013, pp. 64-72 and 73-83.

'Netherlandish Painters Active in Britain in the 16th & 17th Centuries' in CODART, The World of Dutch and Flemish Art, 15th Anniversary Online Publication, The Hague, 2013.

‘Portraits of Ben Jonson’, essay in the online edition of The Cambridge Works of Ben Jonson, Cambridge University Press, 2014.

'Heraldry in Tudor and Jacobean Portraits', in Heralds and Heraldry in Shakespeare's England, ed. Nigel Ramsay, Shaun Tyas, 2014, pp. 220 - 35.

'Panel-painting and portraiture', in The Cambridge Shakespeare Encyclopaedia, vol. 1,Shakespeare's World, online, forthcoming 2015.

'"Picture-drawer, born at Antwerp": Migrant Artists in Jacobean London', in Painting in Britain 1500-1630, British Academy / National Portrait Gallery, forthcoming 2015.

' "To Russia and Muscovia …": Thomas Smith’s Family and its International Network', in Emerging Empires, Russian Academy, forthcoming 2015.

Cornelius Johnson 1593 - 1661, Holberton Books, forthcoming 2015.

'"Wrought with Flowers and Leaves": Embroidery as Depicted in 16th and early 17th-century British Portraits' in (Un)dressing Rubens, Antwerp, forthcoming 2015.

'Revisaging the Visage: Patches and Beauty Spots in 17th-century English and Dutch Painted Portraits' in Huntingdon Library Quarterly, forthcoming autumn 2015.