Dr Stephanie Bowry

Honorary Fellow

School/Department: Museum Studies, School of



I am a historian and museologist specialising in the display of objects in the sixteenth seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. I am particularly interested in how display relates to the construction of knowledge in museums galleries and gardens.


My research has been funded by The Leverhulme Trust and the AHRC.

In 2016 I secured the first and only Leverhulme grant to be awarded to the School of Museum Studies (£86240.58). This interdisciplinary project combined art history garden history and museum studies to examine the visual conceptual and spatial relationships between early modern art galleries and gardens. In 2010 I secured an AHRC Doctoral studentship (£40770) which funded my transhistorical research on the visual representation of the world in early modern cabinets of curiosities and its reflection in contemporary art practice.

Both research projects were interdisciplinary in nature and challenged traditional museological interpretations of early modern collections as mere proto-museums and advanced approaches which acknowledge the influence of a variety of cultural and intellectual performances upon the display of art and the development of museums galleries and gardens.

In 2019 the Virtual Vauxhall Gardens project (of which I was a team member) received the Research Team of the Year award from the University of Leicester. 



(In preparation) Bowry, S., Theatres of Art: A Cultural History of the Early Modern Gallery and Garden 

(In preparation) Bowry, S., The Curiosity Cabinet in Early Modern and Contemporary Art Worlds 

Journal Articles

(In press) Bowry, S., 'Canst not thou work such flowers in silk, wench?' Encountering a Seventeenth-Century Garden in an Embroidered Cabinet, Textile History (issue to be confirmed, 2021)

Bowry, S., 'Before Museums: The Curiosity Cabinet as Metamorphe', Museological Review 18, 'Change in Museums' (2014) 

Book Chapters

Bowry, S., 'Thinking Inside the Box: The Construction of Knowledge in a Miniature Seventeenth-Century Cabinet', in Susanne Bauer, Martina Schlunder and Maria Rentetzi, eds., Boxes in Action: A Field Guide (Manchester: Mattering Press, 2020), doi:

Bowry, S., 'Their tattered mortal costumes will afford them  of the answers they seek': Clothing vampires in the work of Anne Rice, Tanith Lee and Angela Carter', in Julia Petrov and Gudrun Whitehead, (eds), Fashioning Horror: Dressing to Kill on Screen and in Literature (Bloomsbury, 2018)

Book Reviews

Bowry, S., 'Using the museum's past to critique its present', a review of The Museum of the Senses: Experiencing Art and Collections, Constance Classen, London, Bloomsbury, 2017, in The Senses and Society 13.3 (November 2018)

Bowry, S., 'Candlin, Fiona, Art, Museums and Touch, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2010', in Museum & Society 11.2 (October 2013)

Bowry, S., 'The Greville Estate: The History of a Kilburn Neighbourhood', in London and Middlesex Archaeological Society Newsletter (May 2008)


I am not currently in a position to supervise PhD students at Leicester but am happy to advise on applying for a PhD in Museum Studies.


I have taught on the Museum Studies and Art Museum and Gallery Studies MA programmes as well as on the Museum Studies Distance Learning Summer School and Hong Kong Study Week. I was formerly Deputy Programme Director for Campus-based Museum Studies and led the Managing Art Collections module for the 2020-21 academic year for the Art Museum and Gallery Studies MA.

I have taught sessions on early modern gardens the history of museums and galleries interpreting heritage sites cabinets of curiosity contemporary art research methods study skills and academic integrity.

I have also mentored and supported Humanities students with disabilities at Leicester (from undergraduate to PhD level). In 2013 I was awarded the Teaching Partnership Award in recognition of a 'positive contribution to the School of Museum Studies as characterised by a pro-active and considerate approach to supporting the learning of others.' 

Press and media

Cabinets of curiosity; sixteenth- and seventeenth-century garden design; Ham House (National Trust).


"Visiting Lecturer Faculty of Sociology Anthropology and Folkloristics University of Iceland [2021] Visiting Lecturer Department of History of Art University of Cambridge [2020] Book and Exhibition Reviews Editor Museum & Society journal [2016 - 2017] Board Member Museums and Galleries History Group [2013 - 2017] Member Museums Association [2007 - present] "



Research Team of the Year University of Leicester (Virtual Vauxhall Gardens project) [2019]

Teaching Partnership Award University of Leicester [2013]

Invited lectures and keynotes 24 June 2021 ''My Galleries were fayer; both large and long [...] My gardens sweet enclosed with walles strong': Exploring the Relationships between Early Modern Gardens and Art Galleries in England' invited seminar (updated paper) Institute of Historical Research London

8 October 2019 ‘The Curiosity Cabinet Reimagined’ keynote presentation Landesmuseum für Vorgeschichte Halle Germany

21 November 2018 “A goodly Gallery with a most pleasaunt Prospect [...]’: Understanding the Relationships between Early Modern Gardens and Galleries’ invited seminar Centre for Research in Visual Culture University of Nottingham

12 October 2016 ‘Cultivating the Art Gallery in the Early Modern Garden’ invited presentation Institute of Education University College London 


22 September 2021 “Space Thinly Interiorized”: Relationships between Early Modern Galleries and Gardens’ Inside/Outside: The Built Environment and Dialogues Between Interior and Exterior Space CRASSH University of Cambridge

15 June 2021 ‘The Reappearance of the Curiosity Cabinet in Contemporary Art and Museums’ The Museum on Show L’École du Louvre Paris

24 February 2019 ‘This practice [...] is descended on the Italians whose Gardens are the Mirrors of the World [...]’: Exploring the Relationships between Early Modern Gardens and Art Galleries’ Gardens: History Reception and Scientific Analyses Nagoya University Japan

4 July 2018 “A casket full of rich jewels […] For the Ornament and Adorning both of the minde and Habite’: Manipulating Space in the Renaissance Garden and Art Gallery’ Society for Renaissance Studies 8th Biennial Conference University of Sheffield

25 May 2016 ‘Curatorial Practice in the Past Present and Future Museum: A Perspective on Power' panel discussion Lunchtime Colloquium National Museum of American History Smithsonian Institution Washington D.C. USA


PhD Museum Studies School of Museum Studies University of Leicester [2015]

Re-thinking the Curiosity Cabinet: A Study of Visual Representation in Early and Post Modernity

MA (with Distinction) Museum Studies University of Leicester [2010]

BA Hons. (First Class) History University of Kent [2004] 

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