Art History & Art Conservation


Art History & Art Conservation


Art History & Art Conservation

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Matthew Reeve

Associate Professor and Queen's National Scholar
Ontario Hall
(613) 533 6000 x75247

Associate Professor and Queen's National Scholar  
Ph.D. (Cambridge University) 
FSA Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries

Research Interests

My current research interests include medieval art, architecture and aesthetics, episodes of medievalism in Western art, British art, relationships between architecture, the decorative arts and the history of sexuality, and the historiography and theory of art history.



Before coming to Queen's as Associate Professor and Queen's National Scholar, I held a permanent post at the University of London. Working on art in all media, I have published widely on medieval art, including a monograph Thirteenth-Century Wall Painting of Salisbury Cathedral: Art, Liturgy and Reform, studies of secular architecture and wall painting in the royal sphere, studies of architectural ornament and furniture, and an edited volume entitled Reading Gothic Architecture and a recent volume Tributes to Pierre du Prey: Architecture and the Classical Tradition

My recent work has concerned the historiography of medieval art history, in particular the construction of the "Gothic" in the circle of Horace Walpole (1717-97). Locating their shared taste for the Gothic within the broadly homoerotic culture of Walpole's circle, this project explores relationships between the Gothic and the "modern styles" of the eighteenth century and contemporary changes in human sexuality and subjectivity. My work on these issues has been advanced by fellowships at Yale's Lewis Walpole Library and British Art Centre, a three-year Insight Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and a Mid-Career Fellowship from the Paul Mellon Centre for British Art in London. Essays from this project have been published in the Art Bulletin, Architectural History, the British Art Journal, the Burlington Magazine, and other venues. The book, Gothic Architecture, Sexuality and Aesthetics in the Circle of Horace Walpole, is now in press (Penn State 2019).

I am currently working on a number of projects, including an ongoing project to publish a full digital facsimile and commentary of the eighteenth-century publication Vetusta Monumenta at the University of Missouri; a study of the sculpture from the thirteenth-century Lady Chapel at Wells Cathedral funded by the Henry Moore Foundation in Leeds, a book-length study of Gothic architecture in medieval Wales, and a new project entitled "Casa Loma: Medievalism, Modernity and Millionaires in Toronto's Gilded Age" funded by a four-year Insight Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Recent and upcoming lectures:

May 22-25, 2018
Session chair, The World of Casa Loma, Society for the Study of Architecture in Canada, St John, Newfoundland.

May 11, 2018
‘Back to Umberto Eco: Living in the New “New Middle Ages”’, International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, MI.

May 3, 2018
‘Horace Walpole's Crypto-Catholicism', The Mysterious Mother: Tercentenary Celebrations of the birth of Horace Walpole. British Art Centre, Yale University.

March 20, 2018.
'Queer Family Romance at Horace Walpole's Strawberry Hill’, Department of English, Queen’s University.

March 17, 2018
‘Disjecta Membra: The ex-situ spandrels of the Lady Chapel “juxta claustrum” of Wells Cathedral’, Canadian Conference of Medieval Art Historians, Carleton University, Ottawa, ON.

March 1-2, 2018
Vetusta Monumenta Symposium, Los Angeles, California. 

June 29, 2017
'Politics of Bodies, Politics of Buildings: from "play" to "panic" in the Gothic architecture of the Long Eighteenth Century' Gothic Modernisms Symposium, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

May 13, 2016
'Architecture, Animality, and Marian Devotion at Wells Cathedral: newly discovered thirteenth-century sculpture from the Lady Chapel', in the special ICMA session 'Beauty and the Beast', Kalamazoo Medieval Congress

September 25, 2015
'Crypto Catholicism, or, do we need to queer the origins of the Gothic Revival?', Birkbeck College, University of London.

February 2014 
Co-organizer (with Ayla Lepine) the 'Queer Gothic: Sexuality and Difference in British Art' session sponsored by the Historians of British Art at the College Art Association meeting in Chicago.

January 27, 2014
'Gothic Architecture, Sexuality, and Historiography in the Circle of Horace Walpole', Branner Forum Lecture, Columbia University

August 7, 2013 
'What does sexuality have to do with the origins of the Gothic(k) Revival?' Plenary lecture at The 18th-Century Gothick Symposium at Oxford University.

February 14, 2013 
'Gothic Architecture, Ornament and Sexuality in the Circle of Horace Walpole', Parallel Lines Converging: Art, Design and Fashion Histories (Historians of British Art Special Session), College Art Association Meeting, New York.

Select recent and forthcoming work:

Gothic Architecture, Sexuality, and Aesthetics in the Circle of Horace Walpole, University Park, PA: Penn State University Press, 2019. 

Wall Painting and Sacred Space, The Cambridge History of Religious Architecture: the Middle Ages, ed by Stephen Murray, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming.

The Public Setting: furniture of the Great Church and the aristocratic household, in A Cultural History of Furniture: the Middle Ages and Renaissance, ed. Erin J. Campbell, London: Bloomsbury, forthcoming.

Living in the New, New Middle Ages, The Rambling (2018)

The Hereford Screen: A Prehistory, British Art Studies 5 (2017)

Michael Camille's Queer Middle Ages, The Routledge Companion to Medieval Iconography, ed Colum Hourihane, Abingdon and London 2017, 154-72


Art, Liturgy, and Reform: Thirteenth-Century Painting at Salisbury Cathedral

"Art, Liturgy, and Reform: Thirteenth-Century Painting at Salisbury Cathedral", Boydell and Brewer, Suffolk UK, 2008, (ISBN-13: 978-1843833314).

Reading Gothic Architecture

"Reading Gothic Architecture", Brepols, Turnhout and New York, 2008, (ISBN-13: 2503525369).

Tributes to Pierre du Prey: Architecture and the Classical Tradition, from Pliny to Posterity

"Tributes to Pierre du Prey: Architecture and the Classical Tradition, from Pliny to Posterity", Harvey Miller, New York, 2014 (ISBN: 978-1-909400-12-2)