Research

Professor Quilley's research interests focus on British art, primarily of the eighteenth century, with particular reference to the relation of art and visual culture to the development of empire and colonialism; to travel and exploration; and to the articulation of a British national identity founded on maritime commerce. Recent and ongoing projects in these areas have included two major exhibitions at the National Maritime Museum, William Hodges 1744-1797: the Art of Exploration (2004) and Art for the Nation: the Oil Paintings Collections of the National Maritime Museum (2006), and a series of workshops, funded under the AHRC Landscape and Environment Programme, on art and travel, for the establishment of a new research centre for the study of art and travel. Other ongoing research includes studies of late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century British art and the maritime nation, British art, exploration and travel c.1750-1900, and the image of Jack Tar, c.1740-1850. He also has interests in Tudor art and architecture, the art and architecture of sixteenth-century Venice, and certain areas of contemporary art, particularly in relation to art and travel. His most recent book is Empire to Nation: Art, History and the Visualization of Maritime Britain 1768-1829 (Yale University Press, 2011), and he currently completing a new book on the relationship between British art and the East India Company.