Personal profile


Lisa Maddigan Newby is an art historian specialising in postwar British art.  Recent research has focused on the impact that new relationships between artists and anthropologists had on perceptions of collage, cultural identity and participation in London's postwar art world.  This work was supported by a Research Continuity Fellowship from the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art.  From 2023-25 Lisa will be a postdoctoral researcher at the Henry Moore Foundation.

Lisa completed a CHASE/AHRC-funded PhD in Art History at UEA in 2017.  Her doctoral thesis examines a series of interdisciplinary exhibitions and debates at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London from 1948-78.  The new, conflicting ideas about art, ethnography and display that emerged in this context are used to inform an expanded critical analysis of Eduardo Paolozzi’s project 'Lost Magic Kingdoms' at the Museum of Mankind (1985-7) and the diverse reactions that it generated.  

Recent conference papers include ‘Exhibiting Ethnographic Collage in London: From the ICA to the British Museum’ for Cutting Edge: Collage in Britain 1945-Now, Paul Mellon Centre/Tate (2021);  ‘The Living Area at the Sainsbury Centre: Looking Back to Look Forward’ for Museum Exhibition Design: Histories and Futures at the University of Brighton (2020); ‘Artists React to ‘Sacred Circles’ at the Hayward Gallery (1976)’ for Bringing Light to the Dark: Visual Sovereignties in Contemporary Indigenous Art of the Americas at UEA (2019); ‘Ethnographic Surrealism in Postwar London’ for Surrealism in Britain (1925-55) at the Hepworth Wakefield (2018); and  ‘Appropriation or Possibility? Museum Ethnography at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London’ for Art, Materiality and Representation at The British Museum (2018).   

Other related projects include an archival display and catalogue essay for the Eduardo Paolozzi retrospective at the Whitechapel Gallery (2017) and short courses based on her PhD research at Camden Arts Centre (2017) and the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts (2018, 2019).  

Lisa has worked as an associate tutor at UEA, as a museum curator and as a project manager for artist-led galleries and studios.