Erin Barnes

Erin Barnes

Schools Project Manager, Picture the Poet

My Posts:

Job description

As Associate Curator of the sixteenth-century collections I am principally involved in the research for a forthcoming exhibition on the Elizabethans (10 October 2013 – 5 January 2014), in Tudor gallery displays and in designing displays and temporary exhibitions for our collections at Montacute House in Somerset.  I am also working on a new digital interactive for our Tudor and Jacobean miniatures collection.


I joined the National Portrait Gallery from the Courtauld Gallery in 2011.  Following an MA in design history (V&A/RCA) I became curator of a private collection, later returning to the V&A to undertake a Collaborative Doctoral Award with the University of Sussex as part of the exhibition Baroque 1620-1800: Style in the Age of Magnificence (V&A 4 April-19 July 2009). My DPhil thesis focused on the relationship between sight and the concept of insight in the figurative arts of the Baroque.

Research interests

I have broad research interests in the relationship between European religious history and visual culture, particularly portraiture. I have a particular interest in the family portrait, developed during a period as Leverhulme Fellow in the History of British Portraiture at the Gallery in 2009.

Recent Publications

  • ‘The Theatre of Death’, Oxford Art Journal, Vol. 36, No. 1 (forthcoming March 2013)
  • ‘Reflections on a glass Madeleine Pénitente’, Mary Magdalene: Iconographic  Studies from the Middle Ages to the Baroque, Michelle A. Erhardt and Amy M. Morris (eds.), Leiden and Boston: Brill (2012), pp.315-337
  • ‘Power and Sacred Art’ in Baroque 1620-1800: Style in the Age of Magnificence, Nigel Llewellyn and Michael Snodin, assisted by Joanna Norman (eds.), London: V&A Publications (2009) pp.241-257
  • ‘The Triptych Portrait in England 1575-1646’, British Arts Journal, Volume VI, No.2 (Autumn 2005) pp.3-11