Dr. Melissa Berry

Research interests

19thC European Visual Culture (including painting, sculpture, design, ceramics), Art Market Past and Present, translocal/cross-cultural artistic movement, the status and social perception of works of art

Brief biography

Teaching at the University of Victoria over the past 10 years had provided me, and hopefully my students, with an opportunity to continually engage with the ever-evolving world of art. While my primary areas of research are rooted in Western European nineteenth century art, my enthusiasm for the history of art and visual culture constantly expands. No matter what one's area of study is, a close examination of any visual culture reaffirms both essential human truths and how much more there is to learn.

A common thread to be communicated in all my courses is the importance of context in cultivating a clearer understanding of visual culture that might be removed from us in time and/or place. In order to achieve this, my approach in both teaching and research is one of practicality. We look closely at artworks while considering the artist's environment and intentions. No one has, or will, ever created work in a void. Creators, consumers, and distributors are needed to facilitate a thriving artistic sector. Each played a role in these interconnected, often translocal webs.

These contextual relationships are fascinating! Surely, we do not have to like all that is labelled art (I know I don't!) but there is always something to appreciate. No matter which course I am teaching, I never fail to find elements that excite me, and my goal is always to pass this along!

EDUCATION

  • University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada
    Ph.D. Art History and Visual Studies, 2008-2015
    Dissertation: “The Société des trois: Constructing Artistic Identities in Paris and London 1850-1870” 
  • Courtauld Institute of Art, London, UK
    M.A. with Distinction Art History, 2005-2006
    Dissertation: “Le Japon à Paris: Japanese Influences in Paris 1865-1870 »
  • University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, AB, Canada
    BFA with Honours Art History and Museum Studies, 1999-2002
    Minor: French Language

PUBLICATIONS

  • Forthcoming: “Across the Channel and Off the Wall: Artists, Dealers, and Translocal Networks in London and Paris,” Migration artistique et identité: Paris, 1870-1940, Peter Lang Publishing, 2020.
  • Forthcoming: “From Sèvres to Stoke: Solon and the Legacy of British Ceramics,” Decorative Arts Society Journal, 2019, vol. 43.
  • The Société des troisin the Nineteenth Century: The Translocal Artistic Union of Whistler, Fantin-Latour, and Legros, New York: Routledge, 2018.
  • “A French Englishman: Alphonse Legros and Masculine Identity Construction in Victorian London”
  • Visual Culture in Britain, July 2015, 16:2, 186-199.
  • “Fantin-Latour: A Newly Discovered Album,” The Burlington Magazine, April 2014, 1333:0, 228-230.
  • “Translocal Artistry: James McNeill Whistler’s Wapping,” Victorian Review: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Victorian Studies, fall 2013, 38:2, 31-34. 

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada

  • Sessional Instructor - Developed all syllabi and courses’ structure, and graded all written work.
  • Sessional Instructor - AHVS 397A Post-Impressionism: A Social History, 2018
  • Sessional Instructor - AHVS 450/560 Seminar: The Early Modern Art Market, 2017
  • Sessional Instructor - AHVS 260 Art Icons: Modern and Contemporary, 2014-2018 
  • Sessional Instructor - AHVS 397 Impressionism: A Social History, 2013-2019
  • Sessional Instructor - AHVS 300A Masterpieces of Western Art and Architecture, 2016
  • Sessional Instructor - AHVS 260 European Art Production 1780-1945, 2009-2011
  • Sessional Instructor - AHVS 292 Modern Art in Paris 1850-1900, 2009

RELATED EXPERIENCE

  • University of Victoria, Victoria, BC
    Speakers’ Bureau, 2017– 2018
    Delivered public lectures on the Art Market as well as on Impressionism to interested groups throughout the community.
  • University of Victoria, Victoria, BC
    Teaching Assistant, 2009– 2010
    Graded written work for courses taught by Dr. Allan Antliff focusing on Modern European and American art.
  • The Glenbow Museum, Calgary, AB, Canada
    Museum Interpreter, 2007– 2008
    Created and delivered educational programs in the museum to school groups of all age levels.
  • The New Gallery, Calgary, AB, Canada
    Gallery Director, 2007
    Developed exhibition schedule, maintained daily operations, worked with artists and Board of Directors to ensure the continued success of this artist-run centre.
  • Tate Britain, London, UK
    Schools and Teachers Intern, 2007
    Researched and prepared programs for class groups and study days for teachers in order to make the collections accessible to the wider community.
  • Somerset House, London, UK
    Joint Education Department, 2005– 2006
    Delivered public talks on art and objects at three onsite galleries.

CONFERENCES

  • The Great Wave in Britain: The Artistic Influence of Japan in the 19th Century
    Paper to be presented at forthcoming symposium focus on Elizabeth Duer, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada, 2019
  • Performing Posture: Spatial Disruption in the Arts
    Co-Chair of Conference Panel at the University Arts Association of Canada Annual Conference, York University, Ontario, Canada, 2018
  • Toulouse-Lautrec’s Armour 
    Paper presented at the University Arts Association of Canada Annual Conference, York University, Ontario, Canada, 2018
  • From Sèvres to Stoke: Solon and the Legacy of British Ceramics
    Paper presented at “Crossing the Channel: French Refugee Artists in London 1870-1904,” Tate Britain and Paul Mellon Centre, London, UK, 2018
  • Reflecting Uncertainty with Edouard Manet
    Paper presented at the University Art Association of Canada Annual Conference, Banff Centre for the Arts, Banff, AB, Canada, 2017
  • Crossing the Channel: The Intentional Identities of Alphonse Legros
    Paper presented at the Colloque International Alphonse Legros
    Université de Bourgogne and the Musée des Beaux-Arts Dijon,  2017
  • Imagination, Memory, and the World of Alphonse Legros
    Paper presented at the University Art Association of Canada Annual Conference,
    Banff Centre for the Arts, Banff, AB, Canada, 2013
  • A French Englishman: Alphonse Legros and Masculine Identity Construction in Victorian London
    Paper presented at the Association of Art Historians Annual Conference, University of Reading, Reading, UK,2013
  • Album Exhibitions: Artistic Interactions through Private Media
    Paper presented at the Victorian Studies Association of Western Canada Annual Conference, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC,2012
  • Caillebotte and Façades of Modernity on a Parisian Street
    Paper presented at the Nineteenth-Century French Studies Colloquium, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA,2010 

AWARDS, SCHOLARSHIPS, FELLOWSHIPS

  • Fellowship, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada, 2010
  • Jan and Christina Hulsker Scholarship, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada, 2009
  • Graduate Award, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada, 2008