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Dr Victoria Avery FSA

Keeper of Applied Arts

Victoria Avery (BA, MA, PhD, Cantab) has been Keeper of Applied Arts at the Fitzwilliam Museum since 2010, prior to which she was Associate Professor in the History of Art Department, University of Warwick (2005-10) and Rush H. Kress Fellow at Villa I Tatti (Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies; 2004-05). Her field of particular expertise is European sculpture: she has researched, lectured and published extensively on Italian Renaissance sculpture, most recently, Michelangelo, Sculptor in Bronze (PWP, 2018).

Vicky has also published and lectured on many aspects of British and European decorative arts, from arms and armour, clocks and watches, fans and textiles, furniture and ceramics, glass and metalwork. She has curated numerous permanent gallery displays at the Fitzwilliam Museum, and co-curated several ambitious and critically acclaimed interdisciplinary exhibitions, including, Treasured Possessions from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment (2015), Madonnas & Miracles: The Holy Home in Renaissance Italy (2017), and Feast & Fast: The Art of Food in Europe, 1500–1800 (2019-20).

She is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, and sits on the Advisory Council of VISTAS (Virtual Images of Sculpture in Time And Space, 1250-1780), the editorial board of Ricche Minere, and the Art Advisory Committee of Ely Cathedral, where she has been a non-residentiary Canon and Member of Chapter since 2017.


Research Interests

The commissioning, making, display, reception, collecting, and iconography of British and European sculpture from 1400 until 1950, especially Italian Renaissance, Mannerist, Baroque, and Neoclassical sculpture.

As Keeper of Applied Arts, Vicky also has a broad-based working knowledge of and interest in British and European ceramics, glass, silver, pewter, textiles, fans, furniture, clocks, watches, jewellery, arms and armour, as well as Islamic art and Asian art.


Recent/Major Publications

2019: Feast & Fast: The Art of Food in Europe, 1500-1800 (London: Philip Wilson), co-edited with Melissa Calaresu

2019: ‘The Bronzes of San Marco’ in San Marco, La Basilica di di Venezia, Arte, Storia, Conservazione, 3 vols, ed. Ettore Vio (Venice: Marsilio), vol. 2, pp. 116-43, co-authored with Emma Jones

2018: Michelangelo, Sculptor in Bronze (London: Philip Wilson), sole editor and contributing author

2016: ‘Material Matters: Bronze and its (Non)-employment in the Monuments to Venice’s Doges (1475-1625)’, in The Tombs of the Doges of Venice from the Beginning of the Serenissima to 1907, ed. Benjamin Paul (Rome: Viella), pp. 267-310

2015A Michelangelo Discovery: The Rothschild bronzes and the case for their proposed attribution (Cambridge: Fitzwilliam Museum), co-edited with Paul Joannides

2015Treasured Possessions from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment (London: Philip Wilson), co-edited with Melissa Calaresu and Mary Laven

2015: ‘belo et onorato per onor ancho suo: Alessandro Vittoria’s Zane Altar Reconsidered’ in Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari: Immagini di Devozione, Spazi della Fede / Devotional Spaces, Images of Piety, ed. Carlo Corsato and Deborah Howard (Padua: Centro Studi Antoniani), pp. 233-49

2015: ‘Alessandro Vittoria and the Art of Carving’, in Making and Moving Sculpture in Early Modern Italy, ed. Kelley Helmstutler Di Dio (Farnham and Burlington, VT: Ashgate), pp. 87-110

2013 (and 2nd ed. 2014): ‘CampaneCavedoniCandelieri and Caramali: Giacomo Calderari (c.1562–1622), bell-maker and bronze-caster of Venice’, in Carvings, Casts and Collectors: The Art of Renaissance Sculpture, ed. Peta Motture, Emma Jones & Dimitrios Zikos (London: V&A), pp. 236-51

2013: ‘Due incomparabili donzelle: Catarina and Anna Castelli, Sister Bell-Makers in Eighteenth-Century Venice’, in Renaissance Studies in Honor of Joseph Connors, ed. Machtelt Israëls and Louis A. Waldman, 2 vols (Florence: Leo S. Olschki Editore), vol. I, pp. 654-70

2011: Vulcan’s Forge in Venus’ City: The Story of Bronze in Venice, 1350-1650 (Oxford: Oxford University Press), for which awarded the Premio Salimbeni, 2012