Catherine De Lorenzo

Assoc Professor

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Australian photographic history Australian art historiography cross-cultural issues in Australian art history

1991 …2020

Research activity per year

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Personal profile


I am an art historian whose research connects the histories and historiographies of Australian art, photography and exhibitions, ethnophotography (my PhD area), Australian and European photographic exchange, contemporary public art and architectural photography. Unusually for art historians in Australia, my work can be found in leading national and international journals on Australian and Aboriginal studies, literature, visual anthropology, urban and visual studies, histories of photography, architecture and landscape architecture, as well as art history and art historiography. I believe the recurrent interdisciplinary and cross-cultural themes I explore serve to strengthen and enrich my art historical practice. Linking this seemingly diverse range of fields is the legacy of my PhD, which identified two modes of representation, namely, the ways Aborigines were photographed for European consumption rather than with respect to their realities, and the changes in representation prompted by Aboriginal agency. 

In 2018 I co-authored Australian Art Exhibitions: Opening our eyes (T&H), which investigates changing perceptions of Australian culture through art exhibitions. My current project takes as its point of departure French photographic collections, exhibitions and installations about Australia and its peoples at key moments from the mid nineteenth century to today, including the protagonists and policies that shaped them, and the architectures that housed them. Because it works with material that falls outside strictly colonial frameworks it offers an anamorphic critique of national, colonial and post-colonial photo histories. 

I have served on the editorial boards of History of Photography, Design and Art Australia Online and Visual Studiesand am currently on the Editorial Advisory Board ofthe Journal of Art Historiography. From January-March 2020 I was Visiting Research Fellow at the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, Sydney. 

Education/Academic qualification

Art history, PhD, University of Sydney

Award Date: 6 Mar 1995

External positions

Visiting Research Fellow, Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (New South Wales)

14 Jan 2020Mar 2020

Research area keywords

  • Art History
  • photo history
  • Australian art
  • public art
  • cross-cultural studies
  • cross disciplinary studies
  • art exhibition history
  • art historiography


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