UCD School of Art History and Cultural Policy Development Fund

Launched in 2018, the School of Art History and Cultural Policy Development Fund was established to support three annual awards, to the sum of €500 each. These awards are open to postgraduate students who are currently registered for the taught MA, MLitt or PhD programmes in the School. These awards are intended to help support travel and primary research for a student’s thesis both in Ireland and abroad.  >>>Donate



Annual Alumni Lecture 2020

Displaying Dior: exhibiting contemporary fashion within the Museum

Oriole Cullen, Curator of Modern Textiles and Fashion, V&A Museum. 

Thursday, 3 December 2020
Online: register here

Oriole Cullen is an alumna of UCD School of Art History & Cultural Policy (BA Art History & English, 1997) and the Courtauld Institute of Art (MA in the History of Dress). She is also a member of the inaugural group of UCD Creative Fellows.

Lecture abstract: This lecture will will consider the Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams exhibition curated by Oriole Cullen at the V&A, look at the history of exhibiting fashion within the Museum, and explore the issues around the recent boom in ‘blockbuster’ fashion exhibitions.


Annual Alumni Lecture 2019

Cranach Digital Archive: Challenges and Perspectives for Collaborative Research in the Field of Art History
Helen Smith Contini, Cranach Digital Archive

Helen Smith-Contini gained her BA and MLitt in Art History at University College Dublin and then completed a postgraduate diploma in the conservation of easel paintings at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London (1995-1998). Her professional career took her to Germany where she initially worked for the Restaurierungszentrum der Landeshauptstadt Düsseldorf (1998-2003). As assistant paintings conservator she was responsible for the civic collection of paintings, ranging from c. 1500 to 1910. During this period she was also involved in various external projects in collaboration with the Gemäldegalerie, Berlin and the first INCCA (International Network for the Conservation of Contemporary Art) project. She then completed a four year conservation treatment of a large altarpiece by the Italian Renaissance artist Paris Bordon (Gemäldegalerie, Berlin). This project, which was supported by the Getty Foundation (J. P. Getty Museum, Los Angeles) included a technical examination of the painting and the results were published in a catalogue and presented to the public in an exhibition. Since 2009 she has been working for the Cranach Digital Archive.
Lecture Abstract: The Cranach Digital Archive ( is an interdisciplinary collaborative research resource, providing access to art historical, technical and conservation information on paintings by Lucas Cranach (c.1472-1553), his sons and his workshop. At present the project is supported by more than 325 museums, research institutions, parishes and private collections worldwide. It is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation as part of a larger initiative to develop new kinds of research tools to facilitate the exchange of art historical and conservation information between institutions and across international borders. This lecture will present our objectives, challenges, experiences and perspectives.



Annual Alumni Lecture 2018

Niagara Falls and Beyond: Values and Dynamic Tensions
Dr Susan Storey

Dr Susan Storey is an alumna of the School. Having undertaken her BA at UCD she continued her Art History studies as a postgraduate completing the MA before pursuing her doctoral research on the topic of Buffalo's Gilded Age: a story of architecture and landscape design. She was awarded her PhD in 2017.

Lecture Abstract: Niagara Falls provides the best example in nineteenth-century America of a remarkable juxtaposition of nature and technology: sometimes in tension, sometimes hand in hand. In nineteenth century America, the cultural landscape of Niagara Falls became identified with tourism and technology, progress and industrial development. The tension between the love of nature and its exploitation through progress and technology is the ideal lens through which to interpret the most prominent elements of the region’s cultural landscape. These tensions played out between business interests and industrial capitalists who fuelled rapid industrial exploitation of the falls and conservationists who sought to preserve the scenery for future generations. Niagara is equally important as the site of the development and transmission of long-distance electrical power, which transformed the built environment in nearby Buffalo. The story of the Niagara region over a period of almost four decades reveals diverse practices, buildings, and landscape manifesting in major social, ideological, and economic forces of the day. The Niagara region tells a story that is local, regionally expressive and culturally specific to nineteenth century America.