About Dr Niamh Bhalla
Dr Niamh Bhalla is Course Leader & Assistant Professor in Art History at New College of the Humanities. Niamh came to NCH in 2018, having previously lectured and worked on research projects at The Courtauld Institute of Art and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
She currently teaches The Art of the Byzantine World, The Art of the Islamic World and Deconstructing the Canon: A Social History of European Art. Niamh currently sits on the Research Committee and the Teaching, Learning & Enhancement Committee (TLEC) at NCH, as well as convening the Art History Research Seminar there.
PhD, History of Byzantine Art, The Courtauld Institute of Art (2014)
MA History of Classical and Byzantine Art, The Courtauld Institute of Art (2010)
BA History of Art/Theology, Trinity College Dublin (2009)
Steven and Elena Heinz scholarship. Awarded by the The Courtauld Institute of Art (2010-2014)
Apax Partners/Martin Halusa Scholarship. Awarded by the The Courtauld Institute of Art.
Lambert Prize for the highest grade in Greek Language. Awarded by Trinity College, Dublin (2008)
Anne Crookshank Prize for highest grade in the History of Art and Architecture. Awarded by Trinity College, Dublin (2006)
Entrance Scholarship. Awarded by Trinity College, Dublin (2005)
Dr Niamh Bhalla's Research
Niamh completed her PhD at The Courtauld Institute of Art in 2014, entitled Social Histories of the Last Judgement in Byzantine Art. Her research focuses on using critical theory to open up fresh insights into the social agency of classical and medieval imagery. She explores themes such as space, memory, the body, gender and rhetoric in relation to the experience of visual imagery.
From 2015 to 2019, Niamh was Project Manager and Research Assistant for the Getty Connecting Art Histories Initiative at The Courtauld Institute of Art, an international research project, funded by the Getty Foundation in Los Angeles (Crossing Frontiers: Christians, Muslims and their art in Eastern Anatolia and the Caucasus). Niamh was also AHRC Research Network Coordinator for The Victoria and Albert Museum, where she managed an international research network, Architectural Models in Context: Creativity, skill and spectacle based at the V&A Museum and in partnership with the Sorbonne, Sir John Soane’s Museum and the Royal Institute of British Architects, amongst others.
Bhalla, N. Experiencing the Byzantine Last Judgement (Routledge, 2021)
Bhalla, N., “Christian Ivories: containment, manipulation and the creation of meaning”, M. Ellison & M. E. Jensen, (eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Early Christian Art (Routledge, 2018)
Bhalla, N., “Chapter 16: Ivory”, The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of the Art and Archaeology of Late Antiquity, O. Brandt, J. Magness & L. Rutgers (eds.) (Forthcoming, Cambridge University Press, 2018)
Bhalla, N., ‘Medieval Bodies: Life, Death and Art in the Middle Ages’, in The Burlington Magazine (Nov 2018)
Bhalla, N., ‘Egypt: Faith after the Pharaohs’, in The Burlington Magazine (May, 2017)
Bhalla, N., ‘Mosaics of Thessaloniki: 4th-14th Century’ in immediations 3:1 (2013)
Bhalla, N., ‘Modern Chinese Ink Paintings’ in The Courtauld Review 11 (Aug 2012)
Bhalla, N., ‘Treasures of Heaven’ in The Courtauld Review 8 (Oct 2011)
Bhalla, N. ‘Modelling Euro-centricity? Revisiting Architectural Models in the Ottoman Empire‘, V&A Blog (November 2017)
Bhalla, N., ‘Sultan Han’, Crossing Frontiers: Christians, Muslims and their art in Eastern Anatolia and the Caucasus, website
Bhalla, N., ‘Jvari’, Crossing Frontiers: Christians, Muslims and their art in Eastern Anatolia and the Caucasus, website
Selection of Research Papers Given:
There is more to an Artwork than meets the Eye: The Impossibilities of a Purely Visual Literacy, The Bedford Square Festival (July 2019)
Anamnesis after Aristotle: Heart, Mind and Matter as the Receptacles of Memory in Byzantium, History Research Seminar, New College of the Humanities, March 2018
Picturing Heaven, Hell and Purgatory in the Later Middle Ages, The Courtauld Institute of Art (Jan 2016)
Picturing the Last Judgement in Byzantium: Time, Space and Orchestrated Experiences of Death, Newcastle University (May 2015)
Protective Letters and Prophylactic Names: The Image of the Last Judgement at Yilanli Kilise, University of Cambridge (Mar 2014)
Time, Space and Embodied Experience: Imagery in the Narthex of St Herakleidios at the Monastery St John Lampadistes, Cyprus, King’s College, London (Feb 2014)
Memory, Agency and the Last Judgement in Byzantium, Oxford University (Feb 2012)
Dr Niamh Bhalla's Teaching
Dr Niamh Bhalla’s Teaching
Course Leader & Assistant Professor, New College of the Humanities (May 2021-Present)
Course Leader & Lecturer, New College of the Humanities (Aug 2018-May 2021)
Associate Lecturer, The Courtauld Institute of Art (2011-2016)
Gallery Educator, The Courtauld Institute of Art (2011 – 2018):
Writing and delivering gallery talks on art history and conservation to school, university and public groups, and state schools outreach to deliver conservation workshops, broadening access to arts education.
The Value of Visual Literacy:
Convener of a public facing research event at the Bedford Square Festival. New College of the Humanities, 4 July 2019.
Experiencing Death in Byzantium:
Co-organiser of an international conference on eschatological thought and practice in Middle Byzantium with Dr Mark Jackson (Lecturer in Archaeology, Newcastle University) and Dr Sophie Violet Moore (Lecturer in Archaeology, Brown University), Newcastle University (29 May 2015)
The Christian Afterlife:
Places of Reward, Redemption or Punishment Organiser of an interdisciplinary session at Leeds International Medieval Congress, Leeds University (6-9 July 2015)
Art History Undisciplined Conference, The Courtauld Institute of Art (June 2018):
Invited to chair a panel on ‘perception’ between Dr Jim Harris (The Ashmolean) and Dr Suzy Lishman (President, Royal College of Pathologists)
The Elephant in the Room, The Courtauld Institute of Art (March 2018):
Invited to moderate the annual MA Curating debate on the proposed government ban on the sale of all ivory in the UK.