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Maialen Maugars

Visual Arts, University of Warwick

Thesis title:

New Collecting Narratives: Birmingham Museums Italian Renaissance and Baroque Decorative Arts Collections

My doctoral research focuses on the Italian Renaissance and Baroque decorative art collection at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. The collection was constituted in the late nineteenth century and was one of the first to be exhibited upon the Museum’s opening in 1885. The aim of my research is therefore to study the collection’s provenance to understand who it was acquired from and where those suppliers were based. I will also study the selection rationale guiding these acquisitions, as well as the collection’s reception and role in public education and artistic training when it was first exhibited. 

Research topics: Renaissance and Baroque material culture; decorative art; Museum formation; Collecting History; Provenance research.

Research Area

  • Visual Arts


  • Digital poster, M4C Digital Research Festival 2021, https://my.ltb.io/#/showcase/midlands4cities-digital-research-festival-2021/
  • 'Collecting Practices at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery: Actors, Networks, Objects', Joint Virtual 2021 Coventry-Warwick Post-Graduate Research Symposium, 19th May 2021
  • 'Animal Masks and Costumes in Late Medieval Court Culture', Oxford Medieval Graduate Conference, 28th June 2018

Other Research Interests

  • Exchanges between Europe and the East in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries
  • Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts
  • European Fin-de-Siecle (especially Great Exhibitions)
  • Impressionism and Modern art

Academic profile

2020-2024 - PhD in History of Art, University of Warwick

Thesis title: New Collecting Narratives: Birmingham Museums’ Italian Renaissance and Baroque Decorative Arts Collections

2017-2018 - MA in Art History, Curatorship and Renaissance Culture, Warburg Institute 

Dissertation: ‘Vases of the Annunciation: A material culture approach'

2013-2016 - BA in History, UCL 

Dissertation: ‘The role of Mummers and Mummings in Late Medieval Court Culture'

Funding and Awards

2020-2024: AHRC Midlands4Cities Collaborative Doctoral Award

Work experience

Before starting my PhD, I worked in the Impressionist and Modern Art department at Christie's. I also volunteered in several museums, including Sir John Soane's Museum, throughout my undergraduate degree.