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Dr Kim Woods

Profile summary

Professional biography

BA Hons History (York), PhD Art History (Courtauld, London) FSA

Kim W. Woods graduated from the University of York in 1979 with a BA Hons in history. After a two year conversion MPhil in art history at the Courtauld Institute, University of London she did a PhD entitled ’Netherlandish Carved Wooden Altarpieces of the 15th and early 16th centuries in Britain’,  submitted in 1988. She then combined parenthood with working as a free-lance lecturer and Open University tutor. She joined the art history department at Walton Hall on a part-time basis in 1999, andsubsequently became a full time member of staff. She became a senior lecturer in 2008 and has served as Associate Dean for Curriculum 2013-2016.

Research interests

Her specialist area of research is northern European late Gothic sculpture c.1330-c.1550. She began as a Netherlandish specialist but has expanded this geography to include, in particular, Spain and England. She combines an object-based approach with a keen interest in materials and cultural exchange. Her PhD thesis and her first single-authored book, Imported Images (Donington, 2007), concentrated on wood sculpture. Since then she has been working on alabaster sculpture and her latest book, Cut in Alabaster, will be published 2017/18 by Harvey Miller. Among her articles are studies on the Master of Hakendover (1999, Oud Holland), the Master of Rimini (2012, Nederlands Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek), and the Master of Elsloo (2014, Peters and Ceulemans A Masterly Hand); the Mercer’s Christ (2007, R Marks ed., Late Gothic England: art and display, Paul Watkins Publishing); Byzantine art and artists in the West (2012, Duits and Lymberopoulou Byzantine Art and Renaissance Europe), kneeling effigies (2017, The Sculpture Journal, 26/1), and British alabaster tombs (2016, Crooks, Green and Ormorod The Plantagenet Empire, 1259-1453). She is currently working on 'Speaking sculptures'.  

Selected Recent Academic Activities

Invited paper on Speaking Sculptures as part of the Murray Seminars, Birkbeck, London, Oct 2017.

Invited public lecture on alabaster sculpture at Landesmuseum, Muenster, Westfalen, April 2017.

Invited research lecture on Speaking Sculptures to the art history department of Birmingham University March 2017

Public lecture on alabaster sculpture at the Society of Antiquaries, London, December 2016.

Invited paper on alabaster sculpture, BIrmingham University Nov 216 in relation to funded project Music and Alabaster.

Invited paper on alabaster sculpture at the international conference Usos Artístico del Alabastro y Procedencia del Material, Zaragoza May 2016.

Selected paper on kneeling effigies at international conference Netherlandish art and luxury Goods in Renaissance Spain, K Leuven, Feb 2016 

Invited paper on the polychromy of alabaster sculpture at the international symposium Flesh, Gold and Wood, Brussels KIK-IRPA 22-24 Oct 2015.

Invited paper on Kneeling Effigies at the Robert H.Smith conference International connections: Renaissance sculptors and their impact abroad , Victoria and Albert Museum, March 2015.

Invited lecture on Late Gothic alabaster sculpture at the Bruges Groningen Museum Dec 2014.

Invited paper on alabaster sculpture at the symposium on English alabasters at Warwick University Sept 2014.

Selected paper on alabaster tombs at the Harlaxton Medieval conference the Plantagenet Empire July 2014

Selected Publications


Imported images, (Shaun Tyas publishing, 2007)

Cut in Alabaster: a material of sculpture and its European traditions 1330-1530 (Harvey Miller, forthcoming).

Articles and chapters

‘The tree of Jesse gates from Scarisbrick Hall’, in A Reservoir of Ideas: Essays in honour of Paul Williamson, edited by Glyn Davies and Eleanor Townsend (London, Paul Holberton Publishing in association with V&A publishing, 2017), pp.235-244. ISBN 978-1-911300-16-8.

‘The activation of the image: expatriate carvers and kneeling effigies in late Gothic Spain’, International connections: Renaissance sculptors and their impact abroad’, The Sculpture Journal, 26/1 (2017), pp.11-23.

 ‘Plantagenets in alabaster’ in The Plantagenet Empire, 1259-1453, ed. P Crooks, D Green and M Ormorod (Shaun Tyas publishing, 2016), pp.89-108.

'Altarpieces in Alabaster’ in Niederländische Skulpturenexporte nach Nord- und Ostmitteleuropa vom 14. bis 16. Jahrhundert, ed J.Fajt & M.Hörsch,  Studia Jagellonica Lipsiensia (Ostfildern, 2014), pp.41-58. ISBN 978-3-7995-8415-9

 ‘The Master of Rimini and the tradition of alabaster carving in the early 15th century Netherlands’, in Meaning in Materials 1400-1800, Nederlands Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek (Netherlands Yearbook), 62 (2013), pp.56-83.ISSN

 ‘Sculpture by the Master of Elsloo in England’, in A Masterly Hand. Interdisciplinary research on the late-medieval sculptor(s) Master of Elsloo in an International Perspective, ed.F.Peters, Proceedings of the Conference held on 20-21 October 2011 at the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage in Brussels/, Scientia Artis no. 9 (Brussels, 2013), pp.148-161. ISBN

‘Encountering icons: Byzantine art in the Netherlands, Bohemia and Spain during the 14th and 15th centuries’ in Byzantine art and Renaissance Europe, eds A.Lymberopoulou and R.Duits, (Ashgate, 2013), pp.135-155. ISBN 987-1-4094-2038-5.

The fortunes of art in alabaster: a historiographical analysis’ in From Minor to Major: the minor arts in Medieval Art History, ed.C.Hourihane, The Index of Christian art Occasional Papers XIV (Princeton, 2012), pp.82-102. ISBN 978-0-9837537-1-1.

‘The supply of alabaster in Northern and Mediterranean Europe in the later Middle Ages’, in Trade in Artists’ Materials: markets and commerce in Europe to 1700, eds J. Kirby, S.Nash and J. Cannon (Archetype Publishing, London, 2010), pp.86-93. ISBN 978-1-904982-25-8.

‘The Mercers’ Christ reexamined’, in R. Marks (ed.), Late Gothic England: Art and Display, (Paul Watkins Publishing, 2007), 57-69

‘A Passion altarpiece restored’, Apollo, June 2006, 40-45

‘Centres of Excellence’, in C. Van de Velde, H.Beeckman, J.Van Acker and F.Verhaeghe, (eds), Constructing Wooden Images, (Brussels University Press, 2005), 51-74

‘Thèmes iconographiques et sources’, in B.D’Hainaut-Zveny, Miroirs du sacré: les retables sculptés à Bruxelles XVe – XVIe siècles, production, formes et usages, (CFC-Éditions, Brussels, 2005), 77-93

‘The pre-Reformation altarpiece of Long Melford Church,’ Antiquaries Journal, 82, 2002, 93-104

‘Questions d’attribution stylistique: retables inédits en Angleterre,’ in S. Guillot de Suduiraut (ed.), Retables brabançons des XVe et XVIe siècles, colloquium Louvre May 2001, (Musée du Louvre, 2002), 345-376

‘Newly discovered works in England by the Master of Hakendover’, Oud Holland 113:3, 1999, 93-106

‘Some sixteenth century Antwerp carved wooden altar-pieces in England’, The Burlington Magazine, CXL1, 1999, 144-55.

‘Five Netherlandish carved altar-pieces in England and the Brussels School of Carving c. 1470-1520’, The Burlington Magazine, CXXXVIII, December 1996, 788-800

14 articles on Netherlandish sculptors and painters in the Macmillan Dictionary of Art London, 1996

‘The Netherlandish carved altarpiece c. 1500: type and function’ in P. Humfrey and M. Kemp, (eds), The Altarpiece in the Renaissance, (Cambridge University Press, 1990), 76-89

Teaching interests

In her Open University distance learning materials she has ranged from Benin to Pugin, and from level 1 through to MA.  Most recently she contributed to the first volume of A344, Art and its Global Histories (Manchester University Press, 2017). She has ediited and contributed to the co-published art history volumes of AA315, Renaissance Art Reconsidered  (Yale, 2007),  the first volume of A226, Medieval to Renaissance (Tate publishing, 2012), and the second volume of A216, The Changing Status of the Artist (Yale University Press in association with The Open University, 1999).