Cultural and Museum Studies, University of Leicester
This thesis aims to analyse acquisitions of Brazilian art by public museums in the UK in order to investigate the underlying factors and networks influencing museums institutional decisions when acquiring artworks from countries that have a history of being underrepresented within collections in Western museums and the history of art narrative more broadly, such as Brazil. More specifically, my research focuses on the networks and actors involved in the process of acquisitions. Considering the museums as western/colonial institution (Mignolo 2013) and a machine of knowledge production, my analysis can contribute for broadening up art historical narratives. Museums have played – and still do – an important role in defining the art canon and in writing the history of art (Knell 2018; Langfeld 2018). By identifying the agents and networks involved in the process of acquisitions and paying attention to the interactions of these relations (Callon & Latour, 1981), I propose a model of analysis to reflect on the power relations built by these networks. In other words, as museums produce knowledge through the artworks they collect, knowing the actors involved in the process of acquisition permit us to reflect on how the narrative of art history can be expanded.
This research is innovative and ground-breaking, as it fills in a research gap of the study on museums’ acquisitions in the UK, in general, and the Brazilian case, in particular. The collecting practices of Brazilian art in the UK has never been researched to the depth proposed here – for instance, I have carried out a survey with over 500 public institutions in the UK to ask about their Brazilian art holdings, which resulted in a database with around 1500 objects – the first time such survey has been produced. Moreover, the few studies on the motivations behind museums’ acquisitions refer, for instance, to reports commissioned by organisations such as the Art Fund, which is the UK national fundraising charity for art. (Art Fund, 2017, 2018). Beyond questions related to funding, it is fundamental for museums to consider acquisition in relation to the debate around decolonising the museum, to which this research project also hope to contribute.
21 June 2021: presented the paper "The story of a Brazilian painting acquired by the Tate in 1945: a reflection on museums’ acquisitions" at the Association for Art History Summer Conference "Global Britain: Decolonising Art's History".
August 2020: "Mapping Brazilian art in public collections across the UK", poster presentation at the ACHS - Association of Critical Heritage Studies Conference.
September 2019: "From “poor and struggling” to an international canon: the shift in the discourse on Brazilian art in the UK", paper delivered at the International Conference “Interaction, Integration and Flow: Researching the Museum in the Global Contemporary”, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi'an, China
June 2019: "Braziling: mapping Brazilian art in collections across the UK", paper delivered at Research Week, School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester
June 2019: "Elas se divertem and the first acquisitions of Brazilian art in the UK", paper delivered at SPLAS Forum 2019, University of Nottingham
May 2019: "Mapping Brazilian art in collections across the UK", poster presentation at the M3C Research Festival, Birmingham
March 2019: "Mapping Brazilian art in the UK: first steps", poster presentation at the College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities Poster Fair, University of Leicester
May 2021: Convenor of the roundtable event "Let's Talk: Art museums and contemporary collecting practices", School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester
May 2021: Workshop partipant at the Continuous Professional Development event "Doing the work: Collecting practices and acquisition estrategies", organised by The Contemporary Art Society.
June 2020: Chair of guest speaker, Alexia Tala "The pandemic as an opportunity to rethink art biennials", University of Leicester
June 2020: 3 Minute Thesis Competition, University of Leicester
June 2019: Chair of keynote address at the SPLAS Forum 2019, University of Nottingham
May 2019: Chair of research relay session at the M3C Research Festival.
Member of the Association for Art History, and Committee Member of the Doctoral and Early Carreer Network (DECR)
Member of ICOM
Member of the Association of Critical Heritage Studies
20th May 2021: Round-table event: "Let's talk: art museums and contemporary collecting practices", held online and funded by AHRC/M4C. https://contemporarycollecting.art.blog/
1 to 4 June 2020: Research Week, School of Museum Studies
June 2019: Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies Postgraduate Community Forum, University of Nottingham
May 2019: M3C Research Festival, Birmingham
November 2021 to present: Graduate Teaching Assistant, School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester
July to present: Research Associate at the Santo Domingo Centre of Excellence for Latin American Research at the British Museum.
May 2021 to present: Committee member of the Doctoral and Early Career Research Network of the Association for Art History, since 2021
June 2020 to May 2021: Student Advisory Forum (SAF) Rep for for the Midlands4Cities DTP, representing the University of Leicester.
June 2019 to June 2020: Editor-in-Chief of Issue 24 of peer-reviewed Journal Museological Review : What is a Museum today?, published June 2020. Available at: https://le.ac.uk/museum-studies/about/journals/museological-review