Art History & Art Conservation

Department of Art History & Art Conservation
Professor Allison Morehead

Allison Morehead

Associate Professor
Ontario Hall
(613) 533 6000 x78804

Research Areas

Modern art; critical theory, in particular feminist and critical race theory; art, science, and medicine; medical humanities; history of collecting and museums; visual and material culture studies


Allison Morehead specializes in modern French, German, and Scandinavian art, visual, and material culture, emphasizing intersections with the psy-sciences and relays between modernism and the medicalization of life. Morehead has been the recipient of numerous grants and fellowships, including those from the Whiting, Kress, Rhoades, and Brocher Foundations, King's College, Cambridge, the Social Science Research Council, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Their book Nature’s Experiments and the Search for Symbolist Form, which was published by Penn State University Press in 2017, considers symbolist practice in light of French scientific and philosophical currents. Morehead has collaborated and consulted on a number of exhibitions internationally, and was co-editor of the catalogue accompanying Cléopâtre dans le miroir de l’art occidental, held at the Musée d’art et d’histoire de Genève in 2004. They lead the international and transdisciplinary research group, Edvard Munch, Modernism, and Medicine, which will culminate in an exhibition Morehead is curating for the Munch Museum in 2023 while working on a monograph entitled Gambling and the Modern Imaginary, both of which are funded by Insight Grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. In 2019, Morehead convened the workshop "Doing Medical Humanities with Art, Non-Art, Objects, and Things," funded by a SSHRC Connection Grant in collaboration with the Munch Museum, University of Oslo, and Nasjonalt Medisinsk Museum at Teknisk Museum, Oslo, and in 2020 collaborated with Thinking Through Things: Object Encounters in the Medical Humanities, organized by the Northern Network for Medical Humanities Research with the aid of a Wellcome Trust Discretionary Award. In 2021–23, Morehead is co-directing the series Confabulations: Art Practice, Art History, Critical Medical Humanities in partnership with Durham University's Institute for Medical Humanities and the Northern Network for Medical Humanities Research. Read more about Professor Morehead on the website, Researchers at Queen's University, and keep up with their latest updates on Twitter: @_allisonmorehea.

Recent Publications

"Modernism and the Green Baize,", no. 27 (February 2019), special issue on the nineteenth century co-edited by Bridget Alsdorf and Marnin Young.

August Sandburg cover of article

"Hands, Dissection, and Embodied Seeing: Strindberg and Munch," in August Strindberg and Visual Culture: The Emergence of Optical Modernity in Image, Text, and Theatre", edited by Jonathan Schroeder, Anna Westerståhl Stenport, and Eszter Szalczer, 2018.

Edvard Munch portrait cover of article.

"The Untimely Face of Munch," in Edvard Munch: Between the Clock and the Bed (exh. cat. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Munch Museum), 2017.

Nature's Experiments and the Search for Symbolist Form

Nature's Experiments and the Search for Symbolist Form (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania University Press, 2017).

"Des mains d'hommes célèbres et d'autres primates: Strindberg et Gauguin," in August Strindberg: De la mer au cosmos (exh. cat. Musée cantonal des beaux-arts, Lausanne), 2016.


"Representation in the Age of Mediumistic Reproduction, from Symbolism to the Bauhaus," in The Symbolist Roots of Modern Art, edited by Michelle Facos and Thor J. Mednick, 2015 (with Elizabeth Otto).


"Defending Deformation: Maurice Denis’s Positivist Modernism," in Art History, 2015.


"Understanding and Translating: Gauguin and Strindberg in 1895," in Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide, 2014.


"Lithographic and Biological Error in Edvard Munch’s Women in the Hospital (1896)," in Print Quarterly, 2014.


"The Musée de la folie: Collecting and exhibiting chez les fous", in Journal of the History of Collections, 2011.


"Symbolism, Mediumship, and the 'Study of the Soul that has Constituted Itself as a Positivist Science'," in RACAR - Revue d'art canadienne / Canadian Art Review, 2009.


"‘Are there bacteria in the rooms of Monte Carlo?’: The Roulette Paintings, 1891–93," in Munch blir “Munch” / Munch becoming “Munch” (exh. cat. Munch Museum, Oslo), 2008.


"A Certain tour d’esprit: Édouard Vuillard’s Salon Lerolle," in Looking and Listening in Nineteenth-Century France (exh. cat. The David and Alfred Smart Museum, University of Chicago), 2007.