I developed this website because of my love of art history. However, this not where I started, my first doctorate was in artificial intelligence. After a life in business as the chief executive of a software product’s company I decided to switch to art history. I first took a degree course, then a Masters at the Courtauld and finally a doctorate in art history at Bristol University. I am now a Tate guide and gives a 20-week course on art history between September and March each year in West London.
My doctorate from Bristol University was in nineteenth-century British art from the University of Bristol, a masters degree from the Courtauld Institute and a degree in art and architecture from Birkbeck College.
My doctorate from Bristol University was awarded in 2013 and my research area was ‘Darwin and Beauty‘, that is the way in which beauty and related concepts such as form, progress and nature were used by Charles Darwin and by artists and critics between 1850 and 1890. I investigated the ways in which contemporary ideas about beauty and gender influenced Darwin’s theory of natural selection, principally his theory of sexual selection, and how those ideas influenced art movements, such as the Aesthetic Movement. My supervisor was the world-renowned expert on the Aesthetic Movement Professor Elizabeth Prettejohn, who, at the time, was Professor and Head of Department at the University of Bristol. I would like to thank her for all the help and encouragement she gave.
In 2009 I studied nineteenth-century British and French art at the Courtauld Institute and I completed a dissertation on Albert Moore and other coursework. My undergraduate art history degree was at Birkbeck College and I submitted a number of essays and during my final year I specialised in Victorian landscape art and the Pre-Raphaelites with Dr. Carol Jacobi, now Curator, British Art 1850–1915 at Tate Britain.
I also have a science background having completed a degree in Physics, an MSc in computer science and a doctorate in artificial intelligence at London University entitled ‘A Conversational Problem-Solving System Represented as Procedures with Natural Language Conceptual Structure‘. I worked in the computer industry from 1968 until 2002 and in the 1980s I founded a company called Intelligent Environments which became the first internet company to float on the London AIM market.
Publications and Dissertations
- Darwin and Beauty (PhD thesis, University of Bristol, 2013), supervised by Professor Elizabeth Prettejohn
- ‘Endless Forms: Charles Darwin, Natural Science and the Visual Arts’, organized by the Fitzwilliam Museum in association with the Yale Center for British Art, The Burlington Magazine (October 2009), a review of the Cambridge and New Haven exhibitions
- Albert Moore and the Science of Beauty (unpublished MA dissertation, Courtauld Institute, 2008), supervised by Dr. Caroline Arscott
- John Constable’s The Hay Wain: A Case Study Comparing the English and French Attitudes to Landscape Painting in the 1820s (unpublished BA dissertation, Birkbeck College, 2007), supervised by Professor Lynda Nead
- Client/Server: A Manager’s Guide (London: Addison-Wesley, 1994)
- A Conversational Problem-Solving System Represented as Procedures with Natural Language Conceptual Structure (PhD thesis, Queen Mary College, 1977), supervised by Professor Peter Landin
- October 2010, ‘The Quantification of Beauty’, By the Numbers, Victorians Institute Conference, University of Virginia
- September 2010, ‘Darwin, Fashion and the Science of Beauty’, ‘Beauty will save the world’: An interdisciplinary Postgraduate Conference on Art and Social Change, University of Bristol
- June 2010, ‘Darwin and Beauty’, The Art of Collaboration: Interdisciplinary Approaches to History, Postgraduate Conference, The University of Nottingham
- June 2009, ‘Whistler’s One-Man Exhibitions and His Use of Double Coding’, Reading Images: Frames and Frameworks, Summer Symposium, Association of Art Historians, University of Bristol
- February 2009, ‘Charles Darwin, Contingent Form and Whistler’s Nocturnes’, Natural Dialogues: Art, Science, & Material Culture, Graduate Student Symposium, Yale Center for British Art
- Founded Intelligent Environments in 1985 and floated the company on the London Alternative Investment Market (AIM) in 1996.
- Mergers and acquisitions advisor at The Catalyst Group.
- Independent consultant advising banks and building societies on IT security, processes and regulations. I worked for Harrods Bank, Chesham Building Society and other organisations.
- Head of IT at Chesham Building Society.
- PhD, History of Art, University of Bristol, 2013
- PhD, Computer Science, Queen Mary College, University of London, 1976
- MSc, Computer Science, Birkbeck College, University of London, 1972
- MA, Courtauld Institute, University of London, 2008
- BA, Birkbeck College, University of London, 2007
- BSc, University of Surrey, 1968