Walter H. Annenberg Distinguished Professor of Art and Art History
Ph.D., University of Oxford (UK) 1985
B.A., University of Oxford (UK) 1976
Neil McWilliam received his D.Phil. from the University of Oxford. His publications include Dreams of Happiness. Social Art & the French Left 1830-1850 (with a revised translation in French, 2007) and Monumental Intolerance, Jean Baffier, A Nationalist Sculptor in fin-de-siècle France and A Bibliography of Salon Criticism in Paris from the July Monarchy to the Second Republic 1831-1851 . His research focuses on the visual culture of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century France, and in particular, on public sculpture, the Academy, art criticism, and the inter- relationship between aesthetics and political ideologies during the period. In recent years, McWilliam has published widely on the relationship between conservative politics and the arts in France, exploring the impact of nationalist groupings on artistic production, critical writing and art history in the decades before the First World War. His ongoing interest in the career of Symbolist painter Emile Bernard involves a particular focus on this artist's turn in the 1890s towards a strongly traditionalist artistic practice, and its ramifications for understanding the relationship between tradition and innovation in fin-de-siècle French art.
ExpertiseHistory of art criticism, historiography and history of aesthetics, history of sculpture, 19th century French cultural and intellectual history
McWilliam, N. F. “Craft, Commerce and the Contradictions of Anti-Capitalism: Reproducing the Applied Art of Jean Baffier.” Sculpture and Its Reproductions, edited by Anthony Hughes and Erich Ranfft, Reaktion Books, 1997.
McWilliam, N. F. “Les David du XIXe siècle.” Art Criticism and Its Institutions in Nineteenth-Century France, edited by Michael R. Orwicz, Manchester University Press, 1994.
McWilliam, N. F. “Why were there no Great Saint-Simonian Artists?” L’art et Les Révolutions: L’Art et Les Transformations Sociales Révolutionnaires, edited by W. Vaughan, CIHA, 1992, pp. 69–79.
McWilliam, N. F. “Le Paysan au Salon.” La Critique d’art En France, 1850-1900, edited by Jean Paul Bouillon, Université de Saint-Etienne, 1989, pp. 81–94.