Dr Jonathan Vernon - The Courtauld Institute of Art

Dr Jonathan Vernon

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Dr Jonathan Vernon

Associate Lecturer

Jonathan Vernon is a specialist in twentieth-century modernism. He received his PhD from The Courtauld in 2019, his MA from The Courtauld in 2013 and his BA from the University of Leeds in 2012. His PhD thesis, supervised by Professor Christopher Green, studies the posthumous reception of Constantin Brancusi in the context of the Cold War, American liberalism and the purported ‘end’ of modernism, especially through the work of the critic, art historian and sculptor Sidney Geist.

Between 2014 and 2017 Jonathan served as the Ridinghouse Contributing Editor at The Burlington Magazine. He has also carried out editorial, research and writing work for Tate, the Science Museum and the University of Cambridge, among others.

In addition to writing numerous reviews for the Burlington, Jonathan has published in Art History and The Art Newspaper, and authored a Tate Introductions book on Amedeo Modigliani. Upcoming publications include an essay on the posthumous casts of Julio González (Catalogue Raisonné Scholars Association, date TBC).

He has also delivered papers at the Musée Rodin (2017), the Association of Art Historians annual conference (2017), the Dedalus Foundation (2018), the University of St Andrews (2018) and others. He is a fellow of the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Jonathan’s research currently focuses on how the reception of European modernism in the United States shaped American cultural and political narratives, from the nationalism and isolationism of the interwar period to the neo-liberalism of the later twentieth century. More broadly, he is interested in the failure of modernism as a revolutionary cultural force, ‘high modernist’ art and criticism, alienation and negative dialectics, phenomenology and theories of sculpture.


  • MA Core Methodologies

Selected publications


  • Dialectical Materialism: Aspects of British Sculpture since the 1960s, London: Ridinghouse, 2019. With an introduction by Jon Wood.
  • Tate Introductions: Modigliani, London: Tate Publications, 2017.


Essays and Articles

  • ‘Masters of the Torch: American Modernist Narratives and the Posthumous Casts of Julio González’, in The Afterlife of Sculptures: Posthumous Casts in Scholarship, the Market and the Law, New York: Catalogue Raisonné Scholars Association, date TBC.
  • ‘The Bases of History: Rodin and the Retelling of Modernist Sculpture in the Time of Albert E. Elsen, Sidney Geist and American Minimalism’, in Rodin, l’onde de choc, Paris: Musée Rodin, date TBC.
  • ‘Editorial: Exhibitions and Anniversaries in 2017’, The Burlington Magazine 158, December 2016.
  • ‘Jonas Wood’, Gagosian Quarterly, September–October 2015.
  • ‘Comrade Picasso: The Man and the Political Myth’, The New Statesman, 2nd September 2013.



  • ‘Lost, Loose and Loved: Foreign Artists in Paris 1944–1968’ [exhibition review], The Burlington Magazine 161, April 2019.
  • ‘Julio González’ [exhibition review], The Burlington Magazine 160, March 2018.
  • ‘Modern Sculpture’ [exh. review], The Burlington Magazine 159, August 2017.
  • ‘The God that Failed Brancusi’ [book review], Art History 39, issue 5, November 2016.
  • ‘A Prince Among Communists: from the Belle Époque to the People’s Republic. Romanian 1899–1960’ [bk. review], The Art Newspaper, no.282, September 2016.
  • ‘Bonheur de Vivre’ [exh. review], The Burlington Magazine 158, May 2016.
  • ‘Spring exhibitions’ [exh. review], The Burlington Magazine 158, April 2016.
  • ‘Epstein’s Rock drill’ [exh. review], The Burlington Magazine 157, November 2015.
  • ‘Michel Leiris’ [exh. review], The Burlington Magazine 157, September 2015.
  • ‘Francis Bacon and the Masters’ [exh. review], The Burlington Magazine 157, August 2015.
  • ‘Studio paintings and photographs’ [exh. review], The Burlington Magazine 157, June 2015.
  • ‘Adventures of the Black square’ [exh. review], The Burlington Magazine 157, April 2015.
  • ‘Autumn exhibitions’ [exh. review], The Burlington Magazine 157, January 2015.
  • ‘Picasso/Marx and Socialist Realism in France, S. Wilson’ [bk. review], The Burlington Magazine 156, November 2014.
  • My regular reviews of ‘Publications Received’ by The Burlington Magazine, from September 2014, can be found via the online Index of Content at http://burlington.org.uk/archive/index-of-content.

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