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Abbey Rees-Hales

Visual Arts, University of Birmingham

Thesis title:

(S)Ex-Libris: Women Artists and the Trade in Erotic Illustrated Books in Interwar Germany and France.

Research Area

  • Visual Arts


  • 'Modernism at the Margins: Mariette Lydis's print portfolio Lesbiennes' in Dr Elizabeth English, Dr Jana Funke, Dr Sarah Parker (eds.), Interrogating Lesbian Modernism: Histories, Forms, Genres (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, forthcoming June 2023).
  • 'The Woman Thoroughly Dominates': Lene Schneider-Kainer (1885-1971) and Weimar Lesbian Erotica' in Dr Artemis Alexiou and Dr Rose Roberto (eds.), Women in Print 1: Design and Identities (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2022), pp. 245-272.
  • '"Mit einer ziemlich weitgehenden weiblichen Indiskretion": Charlotte Berends Anita Berber: Acht Originallithographieen (1919)',  Hemma Schmutz and Elisabeth Nowak-Thaller (eds.), Wolfgang Gurlitt Zauberprinz: Kunsthändler – Sammler, exhibition catalogue, LENTOS Kunstmuseum Linz, Linz (Munich: Hirmar Verlag, 2019), 169-176.
  • Chris Matthews and Abbey Rees-Hales, 'In the Modern Factory', C20 Magazine, 2015, 1, 16-23.


  • 'Graphically Graphic Art: The making of modern print erotica, 1850–1950', co-convenor of panel session at the Association for Art History’s 2021 Annual Conference, University of Birmingham (U.K.), 16th April 2021.​
  • 'Reserved for "Artists, intellectuals, bibliophiles and similar persons": High-end erotica and elitist assurances in Weimar Germany' (poster presentation), Sex, science, and censorship in the 19th and 20th centuries, University of Granada, Monday 17th February 2020.
  •  'A Borrowed Space? Lene Schneider-Kainer and the Weimar Woman Artist as Illustrator of Erotica'. Modern and Contemporary Forum, University of Birmingham, December 2018.
  • ' "With Quite Unrestrained Female Indiscretion": Charlotte Berend's Anita Berber: Acht Originallithographieen (1919)', Intersecting Identities Research Stream/ Department of Modern Languages Research Seminar, University of Birmingham, November 2018.
  • ' "With Quite Unrestrained Female Indiscretion": Charlotte Berend, Anita Berber and the Graphically-Graphic Body' (paper given in absentia), Graphic Modernisms panel, Modernist Studies Association annual conference, Columbus, Ohio, November 2018.
  • 'Charlotte Berend, Anita Berber and the Graphically-Graphic Body', Women in German Studies 30th Annual Conference, Aston University, November 2018. 
  • 'A New Erotic Renaissance Threatens Germany: Women Artists and Bibliophile (homo)erotica in the Early Weimar Republic', Women in Print: Production, Distribution and Consumption, Centre for Printing History, University of Birmingham, September 2018
  • 'Mytilene on the Banks of the Spree: Pierre Louÿs, Jeanne Mammenand a Sapphic Pseudograph', Echoes: A Symposium on Classic-Modern Relations, April 2018, University of Birmingham.
  • 'The Daughters of Bilitis: Pierre Louÿs, Jeanne Mammen and a Pseudo-Sapphic Hoax', Queer Modernism(s) II, University of Oxford, April 2018.

Public Engagement & Impact

Contributor to Lene Schneider-Kainer episode of 'Exile', Podcast series by the Leo Baeck Institute focusing on Jewish lives in the shadow of fascism. 29 November 2022. https://www.lbi.org/news/mandy-patinkin-podcast/

Other Research Interests

  • Art history
  • Modernism and modernity
  • Print culture
  • The history of women's art education
  • Feminism


  • Postgraduate Teaching Associate, University of Birmingham, 2018/19​, 2019/20 and 2021/22.  Seminar tutor for first year History of Art module, 'Debates and Methods in Art History'.  Convened a lecture and two seminars on the New Woman for the third-year BA/ MA special subject module, Fashioning Flesh and Technology: Modernism and the Body in Germany, 1918-1933, spring 2022.