Dr Lucy Whelan

BA (Hons), MSt, DPhil

Director of Studies

College Roles

  • Director of Studies in History of Art


Email: lww23@cam.ac.uk


Dr Whelan is the Graham Robertson Research Fellow at Downing College. Before coming to Cambridge, she held a two-year Hanseatic Scholarship from the Alfred Toepfer Foundation at the Humboldt University in Berlin. She completed her doctorate at the University of Oxford in 2018.

Research Interests

Dr Whelan’s research centres on modern art in Europe, with a particular focus on France. She seeks to challenge interpretations of the history of art that are founded on supposed modernist ideals such as instantaneity and masculine mastery over the subject. Alongside looking closely at artworks, she takes critical approaches to artists’ writings, artistic self-fashioning, and art criticism. Other interests include gender, the environment, and continental philosophy.

Her first book, Pierre Bonnard Beyond Vision, is forthcoming with Yale University Press in spring 2022, and presents a revised understanding of Pierre Bonnard’s practice as a painter, draughtsman, and photographer.

She is currently beginning a new project that rethinks French art and its discourses from the end of the Second World War to the late 1960s. She is also working on smaller projects relating to the process of looking at art, and on artists’ writings.