Judith Stapleton

Dr. Judith Stapleton specializes in British and Irish art of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Her work examines histories of modernism and the cross-cultural exchange of artists and ideas across geopolitical divide. At the University of Notre Dame, Dr. Stapleton will pursue her book project William Orpen and the Making of Modern Irish Art, which argues for the pivotal role of the painter William Orpen (1878-1931) within the development of both Irish and British modernism. In her larger work, Dr. Stapleton foregrounds questions of nationalism, conflict, and identity as well as histories of art education and display, theories and aesthetics of revival, and the art of the First World War.

Before coming to Notre Dame, Dr. Stapleton completed her PhD in the History of Art at Yale University. She also holds an M.A. from the University of Bristol, where she was a Fulbright Fellow, and B.A. from Franklin & Marshall College, where she was the Williamson Medalist. She has been the recipient of grants and fellowships from the Huntington Library/Trinity College, the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, University College London, and Yale University.

In addition to her work as a researcher and scholar, Dr. Stapleton has broad experience as an international curator. She was the co-curator of Unto this Last: Two Hundred Years of John Ruskin at the Yale Center for British Art and the Watts Gallery in Surrey and co-author of the accompanying catalogue, published by Yale University Press. Her other curatorial projects include An Indelible Mark: British Art of the First World War at the Yale Center for British Art as well as The Lay of the Land: Visions of America, 1830-2013 at the Phillips Museum of Art. She has also worked to develop exhibitions and programming at the Royal West of England Academy in Bristol and at the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence. Dr. Stapleton was previously the Donald & Marilyn Keough Curatorial Fellow at the Snite Museum of Art at the University of Notre Dame, where she worked to develop a monographic exhibition on the painter Walter Osborne that will be held in 2025.

Dr. Stapleton’s published works include Unto this Last: Two Hundred Years of John Ruskin and the essays “On the Anvil: John Ruskin and the Work of Iron” and “Orpen and Le Chef,” published in William Orpen: Method & Mastery. She has served as coordinator of the British Studies colloquium and the Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Art and Material Culture colloquium at Yale University as well as arranged symposiums at the Paul Mellon Center for Studies in British Art, the Courtauld Institute of Art, and the Beinecke Rare Books & Manuscripts Library. In 2023, she was an invited speaker at Yale University, where she gave the lecture “New Histories of Irish Art: Placing the Visual in Irish Studies.” Her recent talks include “‘Among of the Radicals’: Staging Irish Modernism at Home and Abroad: William Orpen’s Self-Portraits” and “‘National Art, National Subjects’: J.M. Synge’s Artist Associates and the Making of a Modern Irish Canon.”

If you would like to be in contact with Dr. Stapleton about Irish visual art, you can find her at jstaple2@nd.edu.