Ruskin Library


Ruskin Research




Professor of the History of Art
Director, Ruskin Library and Research Centre

Stephen Wildman took up his appointment at Lancaster University in November 1996.  A graduate of Queens' College, Cambridge, where he was Research Fellow and Director of Studies in History of Art from 1976 to 1979, he became Deputy Keeper of Fine Art at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery in 1980, and remained Curator of Prints and Drawings until October 1996.  In 1991 he was appointed Professor of History of Art to the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists.  Between 1982 and 1992 he served successively as Secretary and Chairman of the Victorian Society (Birmingham Group).  An Honorary Research Fellow at Birmingham University (School of History, Department of Fine Arts and Art History) from 1991 to 1994, he was a Visiting Fellow at Yale University, New Haven (Yale Center for British Art) in 1994, and has been on the Consultative Committee of The Walpole Society since 1999.

Stephen acts as Curator of the Ruskin Library on the University campus, and is responsible for works from the Whitehouse Collection displayed at Brantwood, Ruskin’s former home in Coniston.  He has been an Honorary Research Fellow, Department of Art (Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences), a course tutor for the M.A. in Ruskin Studies, and a member of the Academic Advisory Committee of the Centre for North-West Regional Studies.  In May 2008 he was awarded a Personal Chair in the History of Art, and in August 2008 was appointed Director of the Ruskin Library and Research Centre.

Prof. Stephen Wildman

Publications include:

Morris and Company in Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (CUP), 1980 (with Duncan Robinson)

David Cox 1783-1859, catalogue to bicentenary exhibition, Birmingham and Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 1983

The International Exhibition of 1862': essay and catalogue section in William Morris and the Middle Ages (ed. Jennifer Harris and Joanna Banham), Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester University, 1984

'Burne-Jones and the Decorative Arts': essay in Burne-Jones, catalogue to exhbition, National Gallery of Modern Art, Rome, 1986

'Great, Greater? Greatest??: Anglo-French Rivalry at The Great Exhibitions of 1851, 1855 and 1862', RSA Journal (Royal Society of Arts), CXXXVII, September 1989

Sir Henry Rushbury 1889-1968, Birmingham, Sheffield and London (Fine Art Society), 1989

Gainsborough and Rowlandson: Drawings in Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (edited), Birmingham, Sudbury and London (Leger Galleries), 1990

The Birmingham School, Birmingham, 1990

Rossetti, 1990 (catalogue to touring exhibition organised by Tokyo Shimbun, Japan)

British Watercolours from Birmingham, Japan, Birmingham and London (Bankside Gallery), 1991-2

'Faithful and Able': Works by T.M. Rooke 1842-1942 in the Collections of Birmingham Art Gallery and the Ruskin Gallery, Sheffield, Birmingham and Sheffield 1993 (with Janet Barnes)

Canaletto and England, Birmingham, 1993 (catalogue entries on 'Canaletto and English Artists', with Michael Liversidge)

'J.G. Crace and the Decoration of the International Exhibition of 1862', in The Craces: Royal Decorators 1768-1899 (ed. Megan Aldrich), John Murray, 1994

Visions of Love and Life: Pre-Raphaelite Art from the Birmingham collection, 1995 (catalogue to touring exhibition, Art Services International, USA). Includes essay, 'Opportunity and Philanthropy: The Pre-Raphaelites as seen and collected in Birmingham'.

'Three Pre-Raphaelite Cadavres Exquis', in Re-framing the Pre-Raphaelites (ed. Ellen Harding), Scolar Press, 1996

'Pre-Raphaelitism and the Civic Gospel: Burne-Jones and Ruskin in Birmingham', in Collecting the Pre-Raphaelites (ed. Margaretta Watson), Scolar Press, 1997

'Arthur Hughes 1832-1915: "True artist and true Pre-Raphaelite"', biographical introduction to Arthur Hughes: His Life and Works, catalogue raisonné by Leonard Roberts, Antique Collectors' Club, 1997

Edward Burne-Jones: Victorian Artist-Dreamer, catalogue to exhibition, New York (Metropolitan Museum of Art), Birmingham and Paris (Musée d'Orsay), 1998 (with John Christian)

Ruskin, Turner and the Pre-Raphaelites, catalogue to exhibition, Tate Gallery, London, 2000 (with Robert Hewison and Ian Warrell)

'Right Doing' [Ruskin, Morris and the Arts & Crafts Movement], Crafts (Ruskin Centenary Issue), 166, September/October 2000

'The Melting Touch of Nature: David Cox (1783-1859)', essay in exhibition catalogue, The Melting Touch of Nature: 250 Years of British Landscape Drawings & Watercolours from the Fernandez Collection, Brenau University Galleries, Gainesville, Georgia, 2001

'A Recollection of Ruskin as Slade Lecturer in 1883', Ruskin Programme Bulletin, 26, April 2001

'Ruskin and Lewis Carroll', Ruskin Programme Bulletin, 28, January 2002

'A Distinguished Pupil of Ruskin: John Alfred Spender (1862-1942)', Ruskin Programme Bulletin, 29, April 2002

Ruskin - Turner: Dessins et voyages en Picardie romantique, catalogue to exhibition, Musée de Picardie, Amiens, 2003 (with Cynthia Gamble and Matthieu Pinette)

'The Persistence of Pre-Raphaelitism: From Hughes to Frampton', essay in Pre-Raphaelite and Other Masters from the Andrew Lloyd Webber Collection, catalogue to exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2003

'The Ruskin Library: Five Years On', The Companion: The Journal of The Guild of St. George, vol.1, no.3, Autumn/Winter 2003

'Ruskin dessinateur' and 'Bibliographie' in Relire Ruskin (ed. Matthias Waschek) (Louvre: Conférences et colloques) Paris: Louvre/École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts, 2003

'Packing strawberries in an envelope: Michael Sadler's encounters with Ruskin', Ruskin Programme Bulletin, 33, March 2004

'Ruskin in the Oxford DNB', Ruskin Review and Bulletin, Vol. 1, No. 2, Lent Term 2005

Waking Dreams: The Art of the Pre-Raphaelites from the Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, catalogue to touring exhibition, Art Services International, USA (Guest Curator and editor) Includes essay, 'A Vision Realized: Pre-Raphaelitism in the Bancroft Collection', 2005

Romantic Eye: Drawings & Watercolors from the Ryals Collection, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, 2006 (catalogue entries on British drawings & watercolours)

‘Draughtsman, Engraver and Collector’, in Paul Dawson, with contributions by Stephen Wildman, George Allen of Sunnyside. Ruskin Library, Lancaster University, 2007

‘Illiberal Views on Art: Ruskin’s Advice to Miss Pipe’, Ruskin Review and Bulletin, Vol.4, No.2, Lent Term 2008

‘David Cox’s Development and Reputation as an Oil Painter’, in Scott Wilcox (ed.), David Cox: Painter of Nature’s Moods, Yale Center for British Art (forthcoming, 2008)

‘John Ruskin and other collectors of the Wood Prince Turners’, Christie’s New York, Important Old Master Paintings: English Master Landscapes by Turner and Constable from the Collection of William and Eleanor Wood Prince, 28 January 2009

‘“Scrawls and rags”? John Ruskin’s Venetian Drawings of 1876-77’, Master Drawings, XLVII, 3, 2009

Coeli enarrant saepenumero: new light on dark clouds’, Ruskin Review and Bulletin, Vol.5, No.2, Autumn 2009

Captions to illustrations in Kevin Jackson, The Worlds of John Ruskin, Pallas Athene and the Ruskin Foundation, 2009

Coeli enarrant saepenumero: new light on dark clouds’, Ruskin Review and Bulletin, Vol.5, No.2, Autumn 2009

‘John Ruskin and Venice’, in Marco Pretelli, (translator and editor), Il Riposo di San Marco: St. Mark’s Rest. Con due scritti di Stephen Wildman e Giovanni Leoni.(Santarcangelo di Romagna: Maggioli Editore), 2010

‘Avant-Propos’ (Ruskin et la France), in Isabelle Enaud-Lechien and Joëlle Prungnaud (eds.), Postérité de John Ruskin: L’héritage ruskinien dans les textes littéraires et les écrits esthétiques (Paris: Classiques Garnier), 2011

‘Ruskin e il grandi maestri italiani’, in Maria Teresa Benedetti, Stefania Frezzotti and Robert Upstone (eds.), Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Edward Burne-Jones e il mito d’Italia nell’Inghilterra vittoriana (Milan: Electa), 2011

‘Ruskin and the Druces: A Visit to Brantwood in 1884’, The Friends of Ruskin’s Brantwood Newsletter, Spring 2012 (with Sheila Clark)

Leaflets and catalogues to exhibitions in Ruskin Library, Lancaster University:

Women Artists in Ruskin's Circle (1999)
Ruskin's Venice (2000)
Treasures of the Ruskin Library (Part 1, Apr - Jun; Part 2, Jun - Sep 2000)
The Portraits of John Ruskin (2000)
Ruskin and the Practice of Drawing (2001)
Ruskin and Switzerland (Part 1, Mar - Jul; Part 2, Jul - Sep 2001)
Ruskin & Switzerland (2001) Commemorative brochure; introductory text as above.
Ruskin and the Decorative Arts (2001)
'A Perpetual Paradise': Ruskin's Northern France (2002) (with Cynthia Gamble)
'The Performances of his Friends': Artists in Ruskin's Circle (2002)
Ruskin's Romantic Tours 1837-1838 (2003) (with Keith Hanley)
Chris Orr's John Ruskin, and other stories (2004) (with Robert Hewison)
'My dearest place in Italy': Ruskin in Verona (2005)
Keeper of the Flame: John Howard Whitehouse 1873-1955 (2005)(contributions from Stuart Eagles and James S. Dearden)
Ruskin and the Daguerreotype (2006)

A Model of Perfect Order: The Southwark Collection (2006)
Ruskin and Sculpture (2007)
Ruskin and the Old Masters (2009)

Ruskin’s Venice (2010)
Precious records: Ruskin’s Daguerreotypes of Tuscany(2010)
Mountain Glory: Ruskin’s ‘Modern Painters’ and the Swiss Alps (2010)
David Walker Barker: Objects of Curious Virtue (2010, Introduction)
“More valuable than any sketch”: Ruskin’s Daguerreotypes of Northern France (2011)
Drawings by Lord Leighton, from Leighton House, London (2011)
Ruskin’s Flora: The Botanical Drawings of John Ruskin (2011) (with David Ingram)
“Beautiful Effects”: Ruskin’s Daguerreotypes of Switzerland (2012)

Ruskin Bibliography:

The Ruskin Bibliography, a constantly updated bibliography of publications on Ruskin since 1939, on the Ruskin Library website:

‘Ruskin Bibliography 2003 – September 2004’, Ruskin Review and Bulletin (Lancaster University), Vol.1, No.1, Michaelmas Term 2004

‘Ruskin Bibliography October 2004 – October 2005’, Ruskin Review and Bulletin, Vol.2, No.1, Michaelmas Term 2005

‘Ruskin Bibliography November 2005 – December 2006’, Ruskin Review and Bulletin, Vol.3, No.1/2, Lent Term 2007

‘Ruskin Bibliography January – December 2007’, Ruskin Review and Bulletin, Vol.4, No.2, Lent Term 2008

‘Ruskin Bibliography January – December 2008’, Ruskin Review and Bulletin, Vol.5, No.1, Spring 2009

‘Ruskin Bibliography January – December 2009’, Ruskin Review and Bulletin, Vol.6, No.1, Spring 2010

‘Ruskin Bibliography January – December 2010’, Ruskin Review and Bulletin, Vol.7, No.1, Spring 2011

‘Ruskin Bibliography January – December 2011’, Ruskin Review and Bulletin, Vol.8, No.1, Spring 2012


Conference papers and lectures (since 2000, selected):

Ruskin the Draughtsman, Ruskin, Turner and the Pre-Raphaelites conference, Tate Britain, 2000

“Necessary and inevitable utterances”: the influence of John Ruskin on the Arts and Crafts Movement, Arts and Crafts Textiles conference, Centre for North-West Regional Studies, Lancaster University, 2002

A legitimate pantaloon: Ruskin the Lecturer, British Association of Victorian Studies annual conference, Lancaster University, 2003

“Scrawls and rags”? : John Ruskin’s Venetian drawings of 1876-77, Nineteenth-Century Venice conference, Leeds University, July 2003

“Stronger, sadder and wiser”: Ruskin’s educational use of Dürer’s work, Ruskin and Education conference, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, November 2004

Pre-Raphaelite and other drawings from the collection of Sir John Paul Getty, Christie’s, London, November 2004

The inimitable Ned: Edward Burne-Jones, artist, designer and humorist, McNay Museum, San Antonio, Texas, October 2005

“… for love and mere journeyman’s wages”: T. M. Rooke and his work for John Ruskin, Guild of St. George annual Ruskin Lecture, Ruskin Gallery, Sheffield, November 2005

Enthusiast or disciple? : William Abercrombie and his archive, Influence of Ruskin conference, Salford University, May 2006

“A moment of beauty”: Burne-Jones’s King Arthur (1895), Ruskinian Theatre conference, Lancaster University, July 2006

Ruskin, Rossetti and the Pre-Raphaelites, The Art Fund, Wallace Collection, London, September 2007

Bodley and Morris in Cambridge, The Victorian Society G.F. Bodley Centenary Symposium, Art Workers Guild, London, November 2007

“That true capital prophet, John Ruskin”: an unpublished lecture by Joseph Southall, Persistent Ruskin – Aesthetics, Education, Social Theory conference, Lancaster University, July 2008

“A gold and purple arch”: Ruskin’s watercolour, North West Porch of St. Mark’s, Venice (1877), Ruskin, Venice, and 19th Century Cultural Travel conference, Venice, September 2008

David Cox and John Ruskin, David Cox exhibition symposium, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, March 2009

Drawings by Birmingham Artists, symposium, Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, April 2009

“It could not be better done”: Ruskin and Albrecht Dürer, Inaugural lecture as Professor of the History of Art, Lancaster University, May 2009

“The draughtsman of skeletons”: John Ruskin and Hans Holbein’s Dance of Death, Gothic conference, Lancaster University, July 2009

Black wind and white fire: Ruskin in Sicily 1874, Ruskin Society annual birthday lecture, 2010 

Orders of Release: the enduring visual appeal of John Ruskin, IAWIS (Word and Image) conference, Belfast, June 2010; also Dundee University, July 2011 (Wildering Phantasies: The Pre-Raphaelites)

Ruskin and the Italian Old Masters, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, November 2010

John Ruskin as Draughtsman, Pre-Raphaelite Drawings conference, Birmingham, March 2011

Coming of age: John Ruskin’s Drawings from his 1840-41 Grand Tour, Inaugural Richard MacDougall lecture, Courtauld Institute, London, May 2011

The Dispersal of Ruskin’s Collections, Elements of Drawings symposium, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, June 2011

Ruskin’s Botanical Drawings, Ruskin’s Flora study day, Lancaster University, November 2011

Ruskin in the Lakes, Artists in the Lake District symposium, Wordsworth Trust, Grasmere, December 2011


Contributor to Dictionary of Art (ed. Jane Turner), Macmillan 1996 (The Birmingham School)

Contributor to Encyclopaedia of Interior Design (ed. Joanna Banham), Fitzroy Dearborn 1997 (The International Exhibition of 1862)

Contributor to Electronic Edition of John Ruskin's Modern Painters I (notes on J.M.W. Turner), Ruskin Programme, Lancaster University/Leverhulme Trust, 2002

Contributor to Oxford DNB (Dictionary of National Biography), OUP 2004 (David Cox, Allen Everitt, Arthur Hughes)

Book reviews (Apollo, Art History, Journal of Pre-Raphaelite Studies, etc.)


Stephen Wildman

Professor of the History of Art
Director, Ruskin Library and Research Centre
Lancaster University
Lancaster LA1 4YH, U.K.

Tel: +44 (0)1524 593589 Fax: +44 (0)1524 593580




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