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Helen Cobby – Bath Spa University

Personal statement 

Helen's role combines the management, development and imaginative use of the University collections, which comprise of fine art, design, natural history, specialist publications and an archive relating to BSU’s history and the history of the campuses.

Her curatorial work, including organising displays, and working on interpretation, outreach and cataloguing, sits alongside learning and teaching in collections management, curatorship, heritage and material culture at undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Helen develops external partnerships with local museums and beyond for collections collaborations, consultancy, exhibitions and student placements. She also manages the annual, paid Heritage Intern. 

She previously worked in curatorial positions at a range of major regional and University museums, including the Ashmolean and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts.

Notable achievements include curating the Heritage Lottery Funded touring exhibition of J. M. W. Turner's early architectural work at the Ashmolean Museum, co-curating modern and contemporary art exhibitions with the Director at the Barber Institute, and receiving the Art Fund's Jonathan Ruffer Curatorial Grant to research early 20th-century women printmakers in New York City to advise on acquisitions.

Helen shares the results of her research through specialist art publications and conferences, including the British Art Journal and the Understanding British Portraits Annual Seminar.

Please note, Helen is on maternity leave until early 2025.

Academic qualifications

  • MA, The History of Art, UCL
  • BA (Hons), English and Comparative Literature, The University of Warwick
  • Art Foundation Degree, Diploma Level 4, The Bristol School of Art.

Professional memberships

Helen is a member of various Subject Specialist Networks, including

  • British Art Network
  • National Gallery's Subject Specialist Network: European Paintings Pre-1900.

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