Art Matters

Art Matters
A podcast exploring the interesting ways art meet…

Soul of a Nation ft. Zoé Whitley – Episode 60
Jun 15 • 16 min
We speak to Director of Chisenhale Gallery Zoé Whitley about her work co-curating the ‘Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power’ exhibition and art in the context of Black Lives Matter.
The Art of Twentieth-Century British Railway Posters ft. David Bownes – Episode 59
Jun 1 • 18 min
We speak to David Bownes to learn about the history of British railway poster artists and how poster designs developed over the twentieth century.
An Introduction to Classical Mythology in Art ft. James Cahill – Episode 58
May 18 • 20 min
Writer and classicist James Cahill gives an introduction to mythological themes in art.
Fashion from the Canvas to the Silver Screen ft. Raissa Bretaña – Episode 57
May 4 • 16 min
Raissa Bretaña tells us how costume designers look to art history to inspire the fashions for films set across history.
The Beauty in Beasts ft. Giovanni Aloi – Episode 56
Apr 20 • 24 min
We speak to Giovanni Aloi to discover why animals have inspired artists for thousands of years.
Presidential Portraits (Part 2) ft. Kim Sajet – Episode 55
Apr 6 • 16 min
Director of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. Kim Sajet discusses the origins of the gallery and presidential portraits. (Part 2)
Presidential Portraits (Part 1) ft. Kim Sajet – Episode 54
Mar 23 • 21 min
Director of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. Kim Sajet discusses the origins of the gallery and presidential portraits. (Part 1)
Demystifying Tarot Art ft. Rachel Pollack – Episode 53
Mar 9 • 18 min
Tarot expert Rachel Pollack discusses the origins of tarot cards and how artists have engaged with tarot iconography since the 15th century.
How the Bank of England Design Banknotes ft. Sarah John, Jenni Adam and Debbie Marriott – Episode 52
Feb 24 • 18 min
We took a trip to the Bank of England to find out about the new J. M. W. Turner £20 note and how money is designed. Guests include Chief Cashier Sarah John, Bank of England Museum Curator Jenni Adam, and banknote designer Debbie Marriott.
Reflecting ‘Madness’ in Art ft. Anna Jamieson – Episode 51
Feb 10 • 23 min
We speak to Anna Jamieson about early representations of mental illness in art and how this has developed over the centuries.
The Art of Disney Animation ft. Charles Solomon – Episode 50
Jan 27 • 23 min
Animation critic and historian Charles Solomon tells the story of early Disney cartoons and how fine art inspired the films we’ve come to love.
The Vagina Museum and Vulvas in Art ft. Sarah Creed – Episode 49
Jan 13 • 25 min
We dive into the story of vaginas and vulvas in art with the help of Sarah Creed, curator of the newly-opened Vagina Museum in London.
Journey to the Moon ft. Melanie Vandenbrouck – Episode 48
Dec 16, 2019 • 22 min
Take a mental journey to the moon with this discussion on how our lunar companion has influenced artists across centuries.
Art and Innovation at World Fairs ft. Caroline A. Jones – Episode 47
Dec 2, 2019 • 21 min
Caroline A. Jones gives a history of the origins of the world’s fair and how art factored into displays industry and innovation.
Finding More of Britain’s Lost Masterpieces ft. Bendor Grosvenor – Episode 46
Nov 18, 2019 • 24 min
We speak to Bendor Grosvenor, co-host of ‘Britain’s Lost Masterpieces’ to discuss the latest series.
The Monuments Men and Preserving Art During War ft. Robert Edsel – Episode 45
Nov 4, 2019 • 20 min
Discover the story of the museum and cultural professionals who joined the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program during the Second World War to help protect heritage sites and cultural objects.…
The Art History of Witches ft. Deanna Petherbridge – Episode 44
Oct 21, 2019 • 31 min
We discuss the long history of depicting witches in prints and painting with artist and art historian Deanna Petherbridge.
The Black Presence in European Painting ft. Michael Ohajuru – Episode 43
Oct 7, 2019 • 21 min
Michael Ohajuru discusses the journey of the presence of black figures in European art history.
Harlow the Sculpture Town ft. Kate Harding – Episode 42
Sep 23, 2019 • 14 min
Discover the history behind the UK’s (possibly the world’s?) online Sculpture Town with guest Kate Harding.
Beauty and Power in Art ft. Jon Sleigh – Episode 41
Sep 9, 2019 • 21 min
Jon Sleigh draws connections between beauty and power across art history.
BONUS EPISODE – Chatting ‘Mrs. Lowry and Son’ with director Adrian Noble
Sep 2, 2019 • 16 min
There’s a new film out titled Mrs. Lowry and Son telling the story of beloved Mancunian artist L. S. Lowry and his relationship with his mother. The film is directed by Adrian Noble, while Lowry is played by Timothy Spall and Vanessa Redgrave plays his…
Writing About Great Women Artists ft. Rebecca Morrill – Episode 40
Aug 26, 2019 • 12 min
We chat to Rebecca Morril, the Commissioning Editor (Art) at Phaidon, about the new book ‘Great Women Artists’, which highlights over 400 women artists across 500 years. We dive into why now was the right time to publish this book and the importance of…
Music Theory, Maths and Elevating Visual Art ft. Peter Vergo – Episode 39
Aug 12, 2019 • 24 min
Art historian Peter Vergo explains how music theory and mathematical ratios inspired artists for centuries as they aspired to elevate the status of visual art.…
The Art of Stamp Design ft. Paul Skinner and Antonio Acala – Episode 38
Jul 29, 2019 • 23 min
This episode explores the history of stamps and the stamp design process, featuring guests Paul Skinner, Lead Curator for Philatelic Collections at the British Library, and Antonio Acala, Art Director for the U. S. Postal Service.…
The Story of Emoji 🙃 ft. Paul Galloway – Episode 37
Jul 16, 2019 • 19 min
Architecture & Design Collection Specialist at the MoMA Paul Galloway talks us through the history of emoji and how the Museum of Modern Art came to add them to their design collection.…
Decoding Astrology in Art ft. Klemens Ludwig – Episode 36
Jun 17, 2019 • 26 min
We speak to Klemens Ludwig, astrologer and author of the book ‘Astrology in Art’, about the long history of astrology and how artists have engaged with the signs and symbols of the zodiac.…
Let’s Talk About Erotic Art ft. Dr Alyce Mahon – Episode 35
Jun 3, 2019 • 28 min
Curator and author of the book ‘Eroticism & Art’ Dr Alyce Mahon discusses the subject of eroticism in western art. We find out how to look beyond iconography like nude figures to find ideas around sexuality and love.…
Artists of Classic Ladybird Books ft. Helen Day – Episode 34
May 20, 2019 • 23 min
Uncover the stories of the artists behind classic Ladybirds Books children’s readers like ‘Peter and Jane’, and find out how the First and Second World Wars influenced the development of the publishing house.…
The Magic of Fairy Tales in Art ft. Dr Michael Newton – Episode 33
May 6, 2019 • 17 min
Dr Michael Newton to guides us through the magical world of fairy tales so we can explore how the stories have inspired artists and writers since the seventeenth century.
An Introduction to the Camp Aesthetic ft. Zorian Clayton – Episode 32
Apr 22, 2019 • 16 min
Ahead of the 2019 Met Gala themed on ‘camp’, curator Zorian Clayton helps explain the origins of the camp aesthetic, how it’s developed and where to look for it within fine art.…
Talking Art with Russell Tovey – Episode 31
Apr 8, 2019 • 30 min
We sit down for chat with actor and art collector Russell Tovey. Surrounded by some of the beautiful pieces in his collection, we discussed his ever-growing passion for art, the new ‘Talk Art’ podcast, which artist he’d love to paint his portrait and, of…
How Blind and Partially Sighted People Engage with Visual Art ft. VocalEyes – Episode 30
Mar 25, 2019 • 17 min
We speak to Anna Fineman and Sally Booth from the charity VocalEyes to learn about how blind and partially sighted people engage with visual art materials and institutions.…
Forgotten Women Artists ft. Zing Tsjeng – Episode 29
Mar 11, 2019 • 23 min
This week we speak to Zing Tsjeng, UK editor for Broadly and author of the ‘Forgotten Women’ series, about how women’s contributions can get lost in history and discuss some brilliant women artists you may not have heard of.…
Rediscovering Colour in Classical Sculptures ft. Cecilie Brøns – Episode 28
Feb 25, 2019 • 17 min
Step into the Technicolour world of polychromy as we speak to Cecilie Brøns, Senior Researcher at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen, about colour classical sculptures from Ancient Greece and Rome.
Art on the Underground ft. Eleanor Pinfield – Episode 27
Feb 11, 2019 • 22 min
We speak to Head of Art on the Underground, Eleanor Pinfield, to find out the long history of the Tube’s collaborations with artists and see what has the team ‘on edge’ in 2019.
The History of Paint by Number ft. William L. Bird, Jr. – Episode 26
Jan 28, 2019 • 23 min
Time travel back to the 1950s with us as we look into the history of the paint by number craze with our guest, William L. Bird, Jr. Find out how the art hobby became so popular, inspiring artists like Warhol and Damien Hirst.…
The Pre-Raphaelites’ Relationship with Science ft. Dr John Holmes – Episode 25
Jan 14, 2019 • 24 min
We speak to John Holmes about the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood’s use of scientific methods in their art practice. What was the extent of their relationship with science, and how can we see their work in a new context if we re-examine it through this lens?…
Weird, Dark and Wonderful Victorian Christmas Cards ft. Greg Jenner – Episode 24
Dec 10, 2018 • 30 min
We speak to author and Historical Consultant for the award-winning BBC series ‘Horrible Histories’, Greg Jenner about weird and wonderful Christmas cards from the Victorian era.…
Lost Art, Forgeries and the Theft of the ‘Mona Lisa’ ft. Dr Noah Charney – Episode 23
Dec 3, 2018 • 31 min
We speak to art crime specialist Noah Charney on lost art, stolen paintings and why art crimes are the third highest grossing criminal trade behind drug and arms dealing.…
Artists as Book Illustrators ft. Jaleen Grove – Episode 22
Nov 12, 2018 • 28 min
We speak to Jaleen Grove – artist and researcher in the history of illustration – about fine artists who’ve illustrated books, and why there’s historically been a distinction been artists and illustrators.…
How Alfred Hitchcock Created Artful Suspense ft. Joel Gunz – Episode 21
Oct 29, 2018 • 26 min
We chat with writer and self-proclaimed Alfred Hitchcock geek, Joel Gunz, about Alfred Hitchcock’s deep love of art and the ways the director worked with artists to incorporate fine art references in his iconic films.…
Black Women Artists and #blackgirlmagic ft. Bee Tajudeen and Rosa Uddoh – Episode 20
Oct 15, 2018 • 16 min
We speak with curator Bee Tajudeen and artist Rosa Uddoh about what #blackgirlmagic means and what it means to be a black woman working in art.
Art in the Science Museum ft. Katy Barrett – Episode 19
Oct 1, 2018 • 17 min
We speak with Katy Barrett, Curator of Art Collections at the Science Museum, London, about how the Science Museum Group incorporates art into its collection and exhibitions.
The Art of RuPaul’s Drag Race ft. The Art History Babes – Episode 18
Sep 17, 2018 • 21 min
We talk to Corrie and Natalie from the Art History Babes podcast about the pop culture phenomenon, RuPauls Drag Race. We discuss the ‘Pop Art Ball’ episode of the series, the shows creative queens, and touch on some of the overlaps between the worlds of…
Finding Britain’s Lost Masterpieces ft. Dr Bendor Grosvenor – Episode 17
Sep 3, 2018 • 20 min
As the third series of the BBC series ‘Britain’s Lost Masterpieces’ comes to a close, I sat down with presenter Dr Bendor Grosvenor to discuss the paintings featured in the three episodes, and to get some behind-the-scenes insight into how the show is put…
Virginia Woolf, Feminism, and Women Painting Women ft. Laura Smith and Venetia Berry – Episode 16
Aug 20, 2018 • 26 min
There’s a touring exhibition called ‘Virginia Woolf: An Exhibition Inspired by Her Writings’ exploring art through the lens of Virginia Woolf’s work. We speak to the curator of the exhibition, Laura Smith, about the exhibition, feminism, and women…
Mermaids and Mythical Creatures in Art and the Queer Community ft. Sacha Coward – Episode 15
Aug 6, 2018 • 17 min
In this episode, we speak with self-proclaimed mermaid hunter, Sacha Coward, about the connections between the queer community and mythological creatures. We discuss how some of these connections came about, origins of The Little Mermaid, and where to…
The Simpsons, Art and Capturing 20th C America ft. Emily VanDerWerff – Episode 14
Jul 23, 2018 • 25 min
This week, we have a conversation with Emily VanDerWerff, critic at large for Vox, discussing the iconic series, ‘The Simpsons’, and how the cartoon has used art as a way to deepen conversations around pop culture and 20th C Americana.…
When Beyoncé Goes APES**T ft. Bee Tajudeen – Episode 13
Jul 10, 2018 • 10 min
In this special episode, we look at Beyoncé and Jay Z’s recently released video for ‘APESH**T’. Set in the Louvre and filled with some of the most famous art in the world, the video feels like an ode to the history of art. We discuss the cultural impact…
Art, medieval medicine, and treating the human body ft. Dr Jack Hartnell – Episode 12
Jun 26, 2018 • 36 min
How have paintings played a part in medical education? How has our approach to treating illness changed over time? And why are there so many paintings of physicians examining urine? This week’s guest, Dr Jack Hartnell, tells us about why medieval medicine…
When artists make cookbooks ft. Cedar Lewisohn – Episode 11
Jun 12, 2018 • 25 min
Why did the Futurists want Italians to stop eating pasta? Would you try Henri Toulouse-Lautrec sheep’s feet recipe? On this episode we discuss the relationship between art and food via creative cookbooks by artists and chefs. Discover some famous artists…
Decoding fashion in paintings ft. Amber Butchart – Episode 10
May 29, 2018 • 30 min
Have you ever thought much about the politics of fashion? How can paintings help us understand the social context of fashion throughout history? Is the woman in the famous Arnolfini portrait pregnant or does her dress make it appear that way? This week we…
Artists’ Love for the Colouriest Colours ft. Stuart Semple – Episode 9
May 15, 2018 • 18 min
Painting and pigments are intimately connected, but have you ever given much thought to artists’ historical relationship with colour? Yves Klein had his blue and Malevich loved black; the Impressionists formed an entire movement around light and colour.…
What to know for the Met Gala 2018 theme of Heavenly Bodies ft. Tabloid Art History – Episode 8
May 1, 2018 • 26 min
The Met Gala is one of the biggest cultural events of the season, seeing the collision of art, celebrity and fashion. Ahead of the gala, we sit down with the ladies of Tabloid Art History to discuss the history of the event, which celebrities to watch out…
Hair Trends Throughout Art History ft. Rachael Gibson of @thehairhistorian – Episode 7
Apr 17, 2018 • 26 min
Are artists obsessed with redheads? Would your hairstyle be considered sexually suggestive in the past? We chat with Rachael Gibson of the Instagram account @thehairhistorian about hair trends in art history from the Egyptians to present, and decode some…
Synaesthesia in Art ft. James Wannerton – Episode 6
Apr 3, 2018 • 26 min
Why can some people taste words? Do you see colours while listening music? What is synaesthesia, and where does it come from? Musicians like Pharrell Williams and Billy Joel have the condition; David Hockney has discussed having sound-colour synaesthesia,…
Art References in Recent Hip Hop ft. Dr James Peterson – Episode 5
Mar 20, 2018 • 28 min
Jay Z created a performance art piece with Marina Abramović and wrote a song called ‘Picasso Baby’; Kanye West made a video inspired by a Vincent Desiderio painting. How – and why – have recent hip hop artists made extensive references to art in their…
Art and Tattoos ft. Dr Matt Lodder – Episode 4
Mar 6, 2018 • 28 min
In this episode, we look at art that’s skin-deep, displayed – not in galleries – but on the human body. Where does the history of tattooing meet the history of art? How have tattooed people been represented in paintings – and in the media? Why have some…
Women Artists in the Digital Age ft. Katy Hessel of @thegreatwomenartists - Episode 3
Feb 20, 2018 • 22 min
On this episode of Art Matters, we speak with Katy Hessel, the woman behind the Instagram account, The Great Women Artists. We discuss how digital tools can help champion women artists, and how social platforms offer a voice to underrepresented…
Celebrity Culture and Art History ft. Tabloid Art History – Episode 2
Feb 2, 2018 • 28 min
In the second episode of Art Matters, we’re talking to the creators of Tabloid Art History, a Twitter account that joins up the celebrity images of today with paintings from art history. We discuss how Lindsay Lohan gives off Caravaggio vibes; the…
Queer Culture and Art History ft. Dr Justin Bengry – Episode 1
Feb 1, 2018 • 25 min
We talk to Dr Justin Bengry about queer culture and art history. Dr Bengry is a Lecturer in Queer History at Goldsmiths, University of London and convenor of the first MA in Queer History. 2017 marked 50 years since the beginning of decriminalisation of…