Claire I R O’Mahony

BA California, MA PhD London
University Lecturer in the History of Art, Oxford University Department for Continuing Education
claire [dot] omahony [at] conted [dot] ox [dot] ac [dot] uk

Claire I R O’Mahony is serving as Admissions Tutor for Kellogg College from 2011-4. She is the Course Director of MSt in the History of Design  and the Undergraduate Diploma in the History of Art .
Elected 2006; Admissions Tutor 2011-4
Her teaching and research centres on the history of decoration in Europe and America between 1848 and 1968, although Third Republic France is her primary focus.  The relationships between word and image in fin-de-siècle culture led to her particular interest in the dialogue between Symbolist aesthetic writings and decorative objects and interiors.  Through the examination of civic mural painting projects and 'art' glass, her research explores the ways in which these sites and objects express debates about national identity and republican politics; the sympathies and tensions within art nouveau organicism between pantheism and advances in natural science; the moral and pragmatic dilemmas of industrial processes and handicraft. Other strands in her forthcoming research include the visual and material cultures of the Second World War and costume and stage design inspired by the ‘Ballet Russes’.
She graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in History of Art and English Literature (1989: magna cum laude; Phi Beta Kappa, Maybelle Toombes Prize in the History of Art).  She gained her MA and PhD at the Courtauld Institute; her doctoral dissertation under the supervision of Professor John House was Municipality and the Mural: Townhall Decoration in Third Republic France (1998). She held a number of different posts in universities and the art world before coming to Oxford: Education Officer for Community and Secondary School groups at the Courtauld Gallery; Exhibitions Curator for nineteenth-century paintings at the Richard Green Gallery, Bond Street; Visiting Lecturer at the Courtauld Institute of Art and the University of Reading and Director of History of Art Lifelong Learning at the University of Bristol.  
Some recent publications:

  • ‘Cubist Chameleons: André Mare, the camoufleurs, and the canons of art history’, Journal of War and Culture Studies, 3.1, (March, 2010) 11-35; ISSN 1752-6272
  • ‘The colony within: Cultural regeneration and the troubadours of Toulouse’s Capitole’ in Griffiths, K and D Evans, eds., Institutions and Powerin Nineteenth-century French Literature and Culture (Amsterdam: Rodopi Press, 2011) 115-136; ISBN 978-90-420-3384-9
  • Introduction: ‘Subjective Objects’ and Chapter: ‘René Lalique and the subjectification of the jewel’ in O’Mahony, C, ed., Symbolist Objects: Materiality and Subjectivity at the Fin de siècle, (High Wycombe: Rivendale Press, 2009) 8-13; 293-328; ISBN: 9781904201151; ISBN: 1904201156
  • ‘Fin-de-siècle fantasy to the: Western Front: the Aesthetic gardens of Nancy’, Garden History, 36.2 (November 2008), 253-272; ISSN: 0307-1243
  • In press forthcoming 2013: ‘War within the walls: Conflict and Citizenship in the murals of the Hôtel de Ville, Paris’, Journal of War and Culture Studies

Art on the Line
Design History Society