My primary area of research is British art of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. I am currently developing an Ashmolean touring exhibition entitled ‘Romanticism Revisited’ about the British Romantic Tradition. The emergence in the 1930s of a group of British artists seeking a visual idiom in which to reconcile the achievements of the native Romantic tradition with contemporary European Modernism led the critic Raymond Mortimer to coin the term ‘neo-romanticism’ (New Statesman, March 1942). The artists described by this term such as John Piper, Paul Nash, Eric Ravilious, Graham Sutherland, and John Minton are amply represented in the Ashmolean’s collection, along with their Romantic nineteenth-century forebears including John Sell Cotman, J.M.W. Turner, and Samuel Palmer. Both groups of artists were working in the shadow of military conflict and in periods of rapid social change. This exhibition will display the work of these different artists together, as well as those of the intermediate generation including F. L. Griggs and Francis Short, demonstrating the continuity the British Romantic Tradition.
I am also interested in the relationship between Art and Christianity, and have lectured on Caravaggio and the Counter Reformation, the Eucharist in Art, the Crucifixion, Landscape and Spirituality, and metaphors of light. I am currently a member of the Oxford University Church project board 'Stations of the Cross' project for Lent and Easter 2020. My work on the exhibition F. L. Griggs: Visions of England in 2016 united these research interests. However, working in the Ashmolean’s Western Art Print Room enables me to explore a wide variety of research areas and a degree of generalist adaptability is an enjoyable necessity.
Katherine Wodehouse is one of two Print Room Managers in the Ashmolean’s Western Art Department. She joined the Ashmolean in 2007 and managed the Picture Library for three years, prior to a year’s secondment as Print Room Assistant. She then worked on an Oxford University Museums project before spending two and a half years in the Ashmolean’s Publications Department as an Editor and Project Manager. She returned to the Western Art Print Room on secondment as a Supervisor from April 2016 and was permanently appointed to the position in June 2018.
In addition to her official duties she curated F. L. Griggs: Visions of England (Broadway Museum and Art Gallery, 2016; Museum of North Hertfordshire, Hitchin, 2017; Chippenham Museum and Heritage Centre, 2018). Her second exhibition, Skyscape, tackled 500 years of the representation of the sky in Western Art (Broadway Museum and Art Gallery, 2017; Petworth House, Sussex, 2020; Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum, 2020; Henley River and Rowing Museum, 2020–21). Her third exhibition, focussed upon French print-making in the second half of the nineteenth century, Making an Impression: Prints by Manet, Pissarro, and their Contemporaries (Broadway Museum and Art Gallery, 2018; Wolverhampton Museum and Art Gallery 2019; ZAMEK Cultural Centre Poznan, 2020; Kirkby Art Gallery, 2020). She is currently developing an Ashmolean touring exhibition about British Romanticism, Romanticism Revisited, spanning the late eighteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries. She also works as a freelance lecturer and tutor, teaching study days on Art and Christianity for various churches and for the St Albans Cathedral Study Centre, as well as tutorials to visiting students at the University of Oxford.