Dr Lucy Steeds

Profile image of Reader in Art Theory and Exhibition Histories

Reader in Art Theory and Exhibition Histories

Central Saint Martins

For editorial enquiries regarding Afterall’s Exhibition Histories publishing strand: l.steeds@afterall.org


As Reader within the art programme at Central Saint Martins, Lucy Steeds manages the Exhibition Histories project for Afterall. She contributes to the MRes Art: Exhibition Studies course at CSM and convenes the Exhibitions: Histories, Practices research group. Working across the University of the Arts London, Lucy has responsibility for postgraduate research training – as Convenor of the Research Network (RNUAL) – and she is a member of the Research Centre for Transnational Art, Identity and Nation (TrAIN).

Lucy has a PhD in Cultural History from Goldsmiths College, University of London, having originally studied Experimental Psychology (Balliol College, Oxford University), then Art History (Courtauld Institute, London) and Visual Cultures (Goldsmiths College, London). Her curatorial experience is anchored in six years of work at Arnolfini in Bristol (1998–2004), and includes more recent initiatives such as the Magiciens de la Terre: Reconsidered film programme at Tate Modern. 

Research interests

Contemporary Art and Theory, Exhibition Histories, Exhibition Studies.

Research statement

I approach the history and theory of contemporary art on the basis that art’s potential is event-based and context-dependent. My research is centred on the field of exhibition histories, with ‘exhibition’ understood in an expanded sense, as taking on myriad forms and without necessarily privileging the museum, gallery or biennial as host. Interested in both the ontology ­of contemporary art and related issues of historiography, I seek to learn from a geopolitical diversity of experiences, thinking and practices.


Sasha Burkhanova, The (co-constitutive) ethics of a contemporary art curator, Central Saint Martins.

John Kannenberg, Listening to Museums: Curating the Ephemeral Sonic Object, London College of Communication.

Project awards, and grants

2015–16, ‘The Other Story: British Art/Exhibition Histories Online’, Paul Mellon Centre for British Art, Digital Project Grant. 

2014–16, ‘Exhibition, Design, Participation’, Paul Mellon Centre for British Art, Publications Grant.

Selected research outputs