Visiting Fellows

Dr Ayla Lepine

Staff positionVisiting Fellow

BA, History of Art, University of Victoria, Canada

PGDip., Theology, University of Oxford

MA, History of Art, The Courtauld Institute of Art

PhD, History of Art, The Courtauld Institute of Art

Research interests

Ayla studied Theology at Oxford and Art History at the Courtauld Institute of Art, where her PhD (2011) focused on the late Victorian Gothic Revival at Oxford and Cambridge. In 2012 she was an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Courtauld, and in 2013 she was a Fellow at Yale’s Institute of Sacred Music. Her postdoctoral fellowships concentrated on the phenomenon of revivalism in international art and architectural contexts. Since 2007 she has held lectuing posts at King’s College London, the University of Warwick, the Courtauld, Yale, and the University of Nottingham, where she also convened high profile academic events on architecture and poetry, revivalism in modern art and architecture, and neo-Gothic architecture in 20th-century Britain and America. She joined the School of Philosophy and Art History at Essex in 2014.

Ayla is the co-editor of Gothic Legacies: Four Centuries of Tradition and Innovation in Art and Architecture (2012) and co-editor of the Courtauld Books Online collection, Revival: Memories, Identities, Utopias (2015). In 2012 she curated Past in Present featuring collaborative input from co-curators at the Soane Museum, the V&A, and the Guildhall Art Gallery. She has published articles in BRANCH on Victorian ecclesiastical textiles, on Kenneth Clark and the Gothic Revival in Architectural History, and on the interaction between music and architecture in modern Britain in the Routledge Companion to Music and Visual Culture. She is a Contributing Historian for the Architectural Review and is a regular reviewer for the Burlington Magazine. In 2014-15 she has been invited to give papers and lectures at the National Museum in Oslo, Yale, the Courtauld, the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, and the V&A. Together with Katie Faulkner, Ayla is co-chair of the AAH 2015 conference session at UEA on architectural sculpture after 1750.

Ayla's approach to public scholarly engagement is both collaborative and impactful. Working frequently across disciplines and with eminent cultural institutions, she has convened numerous research events including symposia, conferences, workshops, and collaborations with museums and galleries. Recent highlights include a public study day on the Gothic Revival architect A. W. N. Pugin at the V&A in 2012, a CAA co-chaired session on 'Queer Gothic' with Matthew Reeve (Queen's, Canada) in 2013, a V&A study day on Watts & Company and Ninian Comper in 2014, symposia on sacred architecture in Britain at the Victorian Society and the Twentieth Century Society (2012 and 2013), the Frank Davis Lecture Series at the Courtauld Institute of Art on historicism and tradition (2012), and conference papers at the Association of Art Historians, Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain, and College Art Association annual conferences. In 2012 she co-founded the AAH lecture series on art historical writers and the Courtauld/King's College London collaborative seminar on Sacred Traditions and the Arts.

Her research interests include revivalism and anachronism in modern architecture and critical theory, transatlantic art and architectural history, and interactions between art, architecture, and theology. Ayla is the Religion, Culture and the Arts editor for the Marginalia Review of Books and co-editor of the Pickering & Chatto book series on Religion, Architecture and Visual Culture. She is completing a monograph exploring medievalism’s influence on six major American and British cities including New York and London.

Twitter: @heartchitecture

Teaching responsibilities

 Autumn 2014:

AR114 - The Pre-Raphaelites: Revolutions in Art and Life

AR216 - After Impressionism: European Art from Van Gogh to Sickert

AR220 - Art and Ideas II: More Art, More Ideas, Critique and Historiography in the History of Art

Spring 2015:

AR113 - Art and Ideas I

AR324 - Sexuality, Gender and Victorian Art, c.1850-1900

AR382 - Dissertation Module

AR939 - Arts and Crafts to New Brutalism: Architecture and Theory in Modern Britain, c.1890-1960



Restless Utopias: Medievalism and Modernity in Britain and America, 1880-1940 (forthcoming 2015)

Co-edited Books:

Ayla Lepine, Matt Lodder and Rosalind McKever, eds., Revival: Memories, Identities, Utopias (London: Courtauld Books Online, forthcoming 2015)

Jordan, Kate and Ayla Lepine, eds., Building the Kingdom: Architecture for Modern Religious Communities (London: Pickering & Chatto, forthcoming 2015)

Cleaver, Laura and Ayla Lepine, eds., Gothic Legacies: Four Centuries of Tradition and Innovation in Art and Architecture (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2012)

Peer Reviewed Articles:

‘American Gothic: A. W. N. Pugin's Impacts on Ralph Adams Cram', True Principles (forthcoming 2015)

‘Winifred Knights’ The Deluge: Religion and Gender in Interwar British Art’, In Focus, Tate Britain, (forthcoming 2015). Online.

‘The Persistence of Medievalism: Kenneth Clark and the Gothic Revival’, Architectural History, Vol. 57 (2014), pp. 323-56

‘Japanist Fantasies: Ayla Lepine in Conversation with Christopher Reed’, Immediations, Vol. 3, No. 1 (2012)

‘Watts and Company, 1874’, BRANCH: Britain, Representation, and Nineteenth-Century History (2012). Online.

Chapters in Peer Reviewed Edited Collections:

‘The Coronation and the Commons: Neo-Victorian Gothic Visions for Westminster Abbey and the New Palace of Westminster’, The New Elizabethan Age, ed. Irene Morra (London: I. B. Tauris, forthcoming 2016)

‘Touching the Word Made Flesh: Religion and the Senses in Victorian Painting’, in S. Streibich and N. Gramacini, eds., The Victorian Interior (Aldershot: Ashgate, forthcoming 2016)

‘”The Gothic Quest”: Pre-Raphaelite Medievalism and the Built Environment’, in N. Groom, J. Parker and C. Wagner, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Victorian Medievalism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2015)

‘Modern Britain’s Queer Heaven: John Ninian Comper’s Alabaster Altarpieces and Resurrections of Desire’, in Christopher Reed and Jongwoo Kim, eds., Difficult Queers (Aldershot: Ashgate, forthcoming 2015)

‘Art and Architecture in the Victorian Anglican World’, in Rowan Strong, ed., Oxford History of Anglicanism, Vol. 3 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2015)

‘Upon This Rock: St Peter’s Church and Architectural Transformation’, in Aaron Rosen, ed., Religion and Art in the Heart of Modern Manhattan: St Peter’s Church and the Louise Nevelson Chapel (Aldershot: Ashgate, in press, 2015)

‘Gothic Portability: The Crimean Memorial Church, Istanbul and the Threshold of Empire’, in M. Gharipour, ed., Sacred Precincts: Non-Muslim Sites in Islamic Territories (Leiden: Brill, 2014), pp. 203-18

‘Music, Symbolism and Allegory’, in Anne Leonard and Tim Shephard, eds., The Routledge Companion to Music and Visual Culture (London: Routledge, 2014), pp. 203-10

‘Installation and Encounter: Ernesto Neto, Kathleen Herbert, and Do Ho Suh’, in Rina Arya, ed., Contemplations of the Spiritual in Contemporary Art (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2013), pp. 131-50

'At the Threshold: Victorian Ecclesiastical Textiles and Religious Orders', in Jane de Gay, ed., Leeds Working Papers in Victorian Studies, Vol. 12 (Leeds: Leeds Trinity University College, 2012), pp. 3-13

‘Sacred Buildings, Sacred Bodies: G F Bodley and Frederick Hart at Washington National Cathedral’, in A. Lepine and L. Cleaver, eds., Gothic Legacies: Four Centuries of Tradition and Innovation in Art and Architecture (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars, 2012), pp. 224-45

‘Sacred Performance: Two Instances of Musical Architecture in Cambridge’, in C. De Mille, ed., Music and Modernism, c.1849-1950 (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2011), pp. 160-81

Review Articles:

Robert Proctor, Building the Modern Church (Ashgate, 2014), Architectural Review (July 2014)

Timothy Brittain-Catlin, Bleak Houses (MIT, 2014), The Tablet (May 2014)

Alan Powers, Eric Ravilious: Artist and Designer (Lund Humphries, 2013), The Burlington Magazine (May 2014)

Elizabeth Prettejohn, ed., The Cambridge Companion to the Pre-Raphaelites (Cambridge University Press, 2012); Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant Garde, Tate, National Gallery of Art, Pushkin Museum, Mori Museum exhibition (2012-14), ‘Victorian Shock Value’, Art History (Spring 2014)

G. Alex Bremner, Imperial Gothic (Yale, 2013), Architectural Review (January 2014)

‘Janet Cardiff’s Forty Part Motet, The Cloisters, New York’, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Art and Christianity Enquiry (Winter 2013)

Alina Payne, From Ornament to Object (Yale, 2012), The Burlington Magazine (May 2013)

White Cube, Green Maze, Yale School of Architecture, Architectural Review (April 2013)

Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby, Colossal: Panama Canal, Eiffel Tower, Statue of Liberty (Periscope, 2012), Architectural Review (March 2013)

Lars Spuybroek, The Sympathy of Things: Ruskin and the Ecology of Design (Rotterdam: V2, 2011), Art History (Spring 2013)

Hawksmoor: Architect of the Imagination, Royal Academy, Architectural Review (May 2012)

John Martin: Apocalypse, Tate Britain, Art and Christianity Enquiry (Autumn 2011)

Dominic Aidan Bellenger, ed., Downside: An Architectural History (Merrell, 2011), The Tablet (October 2011)

Karla Cavarra Britton, ed., Constructing the Ineffable: Contemporary Sacred Architecture (Yale University Press, 2010), The Architects’ Journal (September 2011)

The Cult of Beauty, V&A, The Burlington Magazine (June 2011)

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