Dr Robert James Sutton

Teaching Fellow in Twentieth-Century Art

School/Department: Arts, School of

Telephone: +44 (0)116 252 2774



I am a lecturer in modern and contemporary art with particular interests in west European modernism public art and public monuments and socially-engaged practice in Britain and the United States. I joined the University of Leicester in January 2019 having previously worked at universities including Oxford Brookes Coventry Nottingham and York and on the London campuses of NYU and Fordham University. I have also worked in arts institutions including Tate the Barbican and the National Portrait Gallery. 


My research explores the public art strategies developed in post-war London with a particular focus on the works of Henry Moore Barbara Hepworth and Laszlo Peri. I am interested in the extent to which public works commissioned in these years fulfilled the democratising ambitions of the post-war Labour government and in their potential role as monuments to their historical and ideological origins shot through with the conflicts and compromises of post-war reconstruction. This project grew out of doctoral research into Moore’s public works for educational institutions in the 1940s completed at the University of York as part of the Tate research project 'Henry Moore: Sculptural Process and Public Identity'. Since the completion of my PhD I have presented aspects my work at the Paul Mellon Centre for British Studies at both the Henry Moore Institute and Foundation and at the Association for Art History’s 2013 conference in a session co-convened with Dr Alice Correia. More recently I supported the development of the Yale Center for British Art exhibition ‘Bill Brandt Henry Moore’ staged at the Hepworth Wakefield and the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts (2020-2021). 


(0) Books
Welfare State Memorials: Art, Public Space and Memorialisation in Post-War Britain (in progress)

Henry Moore: Neo-Working-Classicist, in Alexandra Bickley Trott, et al. ed., The Working-Class Avant-Garde (forthcoming for Open Library of Humanities special collection, 2021)
Henry Moore in the 1940s, Bill Brandt Henry Moore (Yale University Press, 2020)
The Monumental and the Mundane: Living with Public Art in London's East End, in Sarah Whatley et al. ed., Art and Dance in Dialogue: Body, Space, Object (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020)

Book review:
The Everyday Practice of Public Art and The Companion to Public Art, Sculpture Journal, Vol. 26, Issue 1 (2017)
From the Spanish Civil War to the Nuclear Age, Art History, Vol. 38, Iss. 5 (November 2015)

Catalogue entries and contributions towards: Henry Moore: Sculptural Process and Public Identity (Tate Research Publication, 2015): 


Public art and monuments of the 20th and 21st centuries Post-war modernist sculpture Socially-engaged practice in Britain and the United States


I convene and teach on the following courses: HA1113 and HA1313 Introduction to the History of Art II (co-taught) HA2218 Modernity & Tradition HA2219 and HA2319 Documents of the History of Art HA3024 Public Art and Monuments since 1918 HA3027 Art since 1945 HA3321 International Art Market (co-taught) and I contribute to teaching on the following courses: HA1117 Materials & Objects I also convene the undergraduate dissertation module and supervise dissertations on subjects related to 20th and 21st century art. 

Press and media

Henry Moore and the public art of post-war Britain


‘Reconstruction in Retrospect: Welfare State Memorials’ Sculpting History: New Thinking on Monuments and Memorialisation in Visual Culture Henry Moore Institute Leeds 28th February 2020 ‘Henry Moore: Neo-Working-Classicist‘ The Working Class Avant-Garde London South Bank University London 22nd June 2018 ‘Public Art and its Publics in Post-War Britain’ Research Lunch at the Paul Mellon Centre for British Art Studies London 16th February 2018 ‘“A world that was other than the Victorian academic art-school world”: On Henry Moore’s Education in Michael Sadler’s Leeds.’ Circles of Recognition Structures of Support: Henry Moore’s Early Years Henry Moore Institute Leeds 24th January 2018 ‘Educating Henry: Context Circumstance Educational Opportunity’ Becoming Henry Moore Henry Moore Foundation in collaboration with the Paul Mellon Centre for British Art Studies Perry Green 17th June 2017


PhD History of Art University of York and Tate (AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award) MA History of Art Courtauld Institute University of London BA Hons History of Art University of Sussex
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