Art in Partnership – Contemporary Art and the British School at Athens

Thursday 18 May 2023

John Bennet, former Director of the research institute, the British School at Athens (BSA), and Malcolm Quinn, Professor of Cultural and Political History at Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon University of the Arts London, discuss the BSA Arts Bursary and its influence on emerging contemporary artists.

The exhibition 20 Years of Artists at the BSA (2021), the first survey of artists who conducted research at BSA, disclosed how much the School in particular, and living in Greece in general, had altered modes of perception for participating practitioners. The programme transformed the artists’ understanding of history and the history of art, stimulated their creative efforts and focused their investigations. 

The ongoing dialogue between UAL and BSA and the evidential benefits will be explored by Bennet and Quinn in this talk. The BSA Arts Bursary for practice-based doctoral students at UAL has been a career-defining experience for the artists who have taken part. It is quite a recent phenomenon for artists to pursue PhDs – the first Turner Prize winner with a PhD was in 2012 – and the BSA have been pioneers in realising the potential for artists pursuing doctoral research connect with and benefit from the scholarship and research of the School.


John Bennet directed the British School at Athens from 2015 until 2022. He is Professor of Aegean Archaeology at the University of Sheffield. He has carried out archaeological work in Greece since the early 1980s and has published on prehistoric Greece, especially the early writing system Linear B, combining both textual and material approaches. 

Malcolm Quinn is Professor of Cultural and Political History and Associate Dean of Research for Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon, University of the Arts London. He is the author of Utilitarianism and the Art School in Nineteenth-Century Britain (2013), General Editor of The Persistence of Taste (2018) and (with Anthony Julius and Philip Schofield) editor of Bentham and the Arts (2020). 


Image credit:

NEON City Project 2018 | Prosaic Origins by Andreas Lolis | NEON at the British School at Athens | ©PanosKokkinias


The Hellenic Centre


Free entry | RSVP via Eventbrite or 020 7563 9835