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Murray Edwards College
University of Cambridge
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    Karen Livingstone

    Fitzwilliam Museum
    Trumpington Street
    CB2 1RB

    Deputy Director of Fitzwilliam Museum

    History of Art


    I am thrilled to have been invited to join the college community, and I’m looking forward very much to making new connections and to developing shared interests and collaborations with The Women's Art Collection, the Fitzwilliam Museum, the University, and beyond.

    Degrees &  Honours

    • MA (Hons) History of Art, University of Edinburgh
    • Diploma in Decorative Arts, Glasgow University
    • Diploma in Museum Studies, University of Leicester

    Awards & Prizes            

    • Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts
    • Honorary Research Fellow, V&A (2012-2015)
    • R. Wark Fellow of the Huntington Library, San Marino, California (2003)

    Research Interests            

    The Arts and Crafts Movement in Britain and beyond, with a particular emphasis on the legacy of William Morris; the architect and designer C.F.A. Voysey; and the work of women artists, designers and makers.


    Karen Livingstone joined the Fitzwilliam Museum in February 2021 as its first Deputy Director for Masterplan, Exhibitions and Major Display Projects. In this role she is responsible for the Museum’s ambitious redevelopment and Masterplan. The Fitzwilliam’s Masterplan aims to transform the building and displays to ensure the Museum functions as a great new social space for the region, an innovative cultural and research asset for the University of Cambridge and its great collections, and an even more extraordinary place to interact with art and history.

    Previously, Karen joined the Science Museum Group in 2011 as its first Director of Masterplan and Estate. She planned and delivered Masterplans at each of the five museums in the group, most notably the Science Museum in London, which was declared a winner of the Art Fund Museum of the Year prize in 2020.

    Karen began her career as a curator, first at Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums and then the Victoria and Albert Museum. She curated the V&A’s landmark 2005 exhibition ‘International Arts and Crafts’ following which she became Head of Projects, where she built up a track record of directing and delivering multiple award-winning capital projects.

    Karen maintains an active interest in curatorial collections and research, scholarship and publishing. Her interests include the Arts and Crafts Movement, art, architecture and design, and in particular work by women. She is on the judging panel for the annual Women in Architecture Awards and is currently working on a book about Women in the Arts and Crafts movement.


    • Livingstone,Karen, Women in the Arts and Crafts Movement, V&A Publications and Thames and Hudson, forthcoming (2023)
    • Livingstone,Karen Voysey’s Birds and Animals, V&A Publications and Thames and Hudson, 2020
    • Livingstone, Karen. “C.F.A.Voysey.” In Oxford Bibliographies in Architecture, Planning, and Preservation. Ed. Kevin Murphy. New York: Oxford University Press, 2020
    • Livingstone,Karen ‘The Arts and Crafts Movement in Britain 1800-1914’, William Morris y compaññìa: el moviemento Arts & Crafts en Gran Bretaña , Fundación Juan March, Madrid, 2017
    • Livingstone,Karen, with Donnelly, Max and Parry, Linda, C. F. A. Voysey: Arts & Crafts Designer, V&A Publications, 2016
    • Livingstone,Karen, V&A Pattern: C.F.A. Voysey, V&A Publications, 2013
    • Livingstone,Karen, The Bookplates and Badges of C.F.A. Voysey: Architect and Designer of the Arts and Crafts Movement, Antique Collectors Club, 2010
    • Livingstone, Karen and Parry, Linda, International Arts and Crafts, V&A Publications, 2005
    • Livingstone, Karen, Essential Arts and Crafts,V&A Publications,  2005
    • Livingstone, Karen, ‘Art Manufactures of the Twenty-first century’ in The Persistence of Craft, ed. Greenhalgh, Paul), A&C Black, 2002
    • Livingstone, Karen, ‘The South Kensington Museum’ and ‘Christopher Dresser’ in Design & The Decorative Arts: Britain 1500-1900, eds. Snodin, Michael and Styles, John (eds), V&A, 2001
    • Livingstone, Karen, ‘Shadowlands’ Ceramic Review Number 178, London, July/August 1999, pp24-27
    • Livingstone, Karen.  ‘Practitioners of Theory: Charles Robert Ashbee’ in   Point: Art and Design Research Journal, CHEAD, the Conference for Higher Education in Art and Design, Number 5, Spring/Summer 1998, pp15-19
    • Livingstone, Karen, ‘Resonance. Handbuilt Ceramics by Jennifer Lee’ Ceramics Art and Perception Issue 29, Sydney, September 1997, pp54-57
    • Livingstone, K.A.  ‘Science Art and Industry: The Work of William Burton, Gordon Mitchell Forsyth and Pilkingtons Tile and Pottery Company in context.’ Ars Ceramica, Number 13, New York, 1996, pp67-76
    • Livingstone, K. ‘Jennifer Lee. Handbuilt Ceramics’ Neue Keramik, Berlin, May/June 1994 pp204-207
    • Edwards,C, Livingstone,K, Petersen,A,  ‘Dayr Hanna: an Eighteenth century Fortified Village in Galilee’  Levant XXV, 1993, pp63-92