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PhD University of Wales
MA History & Theory of Modern Art, Chelsea College of Art & Design, University of the Arts, London
BA (Hons) Fine Art, Middlesex University


Dr Russell Roberts is a curator and writer. He studied for his BA and later MA in London while working for the Victoria & Albert Museum. He was Head of Photography at the National Museum for Photography, Film & TV (NMPFT) between 1998 and 2006 leading on research, exhibitions, publications and external partnerships. He devised the News Gallery for the NMPFT working closely with industry including the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Reuters. He has worked on over 50 national and international curatorial projects most notably In Visible Light (1997); Specimens & Marvels (2000); Unknown Pleasures (2003); A Gentle Madness (2004); Hidden Country and English Anxieties (2009); The Silent Village (2010) and Without Words (2011); This Is Your Photo: Mass Observation (2013) and William Henry Fox Talbot: Dawn of the Photograph (2016). He was an editorial board member for History of Photography (2000-2010) and his doctoral research examined curating, archives and collections in terms of how histories can be shaped by cultures of photography through exhibition practices. He is currently Chair of the University of South Wales Arts Committee responsible for their nationally accredited museum collection.


Over 20 years curatorial research, working with national collections, archives, museums and galleries as curator, writer and senior manager. Digitisation projects include Ingenious (
at Science Museum, London, and Migrations – The Daily Herald Archive, for Channel 4.

Consultancy undertaken for organisations such as National Museums and Galleries Scotland, Edinburgh, Arts Council England and The Photographers’ Gallery, London. Worked with a range of international partners to deliver exhibitions and books including The Getty Museum, Los Angeles; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam; Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki; Museo Nacional de Artes Reina Sofia, Madrid; Rencontres des Arles, France; Photoespana, Madrid.


Teaching on MA and BA programmes in photography; doctoral research supervision; Co-Director of European Centre for Photographic Research; external cultural partnerships.


‘William Henry Fox Talbot: Dawn of the Photograph’, London: Scala Press & Science Museum, 2016
‘Ach y fi! Ach y fi!: A Play for Vices’, Dylan Thomas Anniversary exhibition, Aberystwyth: National Library of Wales, 2014
Two Chapters for the anthology ‘Fifty Key Writers on Photography’, London: Routledge, 2013
Interview ‘Structures of Feeling’, London: Photomonitor –
‘Public Relations: Martin Parr/Dan Holdsworth/Sarah Pickering/Paul Shambroom’, Cardiff: SAFLE Public Art Wales, 2012
‘Heb Eiriau – Ffotograddau Geoff Charles / Without Words – The Photographs of Geoff Charles’, National Eisteddfod of Wales in association with National Library of Wales and Arts Council of Wales, 2011
‘The Silent Village – Humphrey Jennings / Peter Finnemore / Rachel Trezise / Paolo Ventura’, Cardiff: Ffotogallery, 2010
‘English Anxieties – Tim Brennan’, Photoworks in association with Ffotogallery and Mass-Observation Archive, University of Sussex, 2009
“In Camera: Stories from the City”, ‘The Creative Centre of the Universe: Liverpool and the Avant-Garde’, Liverpool: Tate and Liverpool University Press, 2007


Museums Association
Raymond Williams Society


He has been a Visiting Professor at HISK in Antwerp in 2001; a Visiting Fellow in Photography at University of Wales, Newport in 2004; and Visiting Fellow at Pitt Rivers Museum and Linacre College, University of Oxford in 2005.

Media appearances include Channel 4 News; BBC News, BBC Radio 4 (Front Row) and Sat1, Czech TV Nova and Canal + in Continental Europe. Online presentations include: Tate Modern, Street & Studio symposium in association with the OU (2006):
Picturing Atrocity, Graduate Centre, City University of New York (2005):

As External Examiner, over 10 positions in UK universities have been held relating to BA, MA and PhD examinations including Glasgow, Derby, Westminster, UCA, Bournemouth and London.

Roberts has Chaired conferences for Artes Mundi and Venice in Wales events in collaboration with the National Museum of Wales, as well as working with the National Eisteddfod of Wales and Arts Council Wales for the Special Exhibition in 2011. Other partnerships in Wales include projects with Coleg Cenedlaethol Cymru to devise an online resource for online art & design education (to be launched autumn 2016) and several exhibitions in partnership with Ffotogallery: National Development Agency for Photography in Wales and Tai Calon Housing, Ebbw Vale, to support public engagement with art and photography.


National Museums and Galleries Scotland, Edinburgh
The Photographers’ Gallery, London
Arts Council England


Expertise or Interest

Histories and theories of photography; curating; museums, libraries and archives; digital culture; contemporary art; photography in Wales.

Grants Awarded

Arts Council England
Arts Council Wales
Wales Arts International


Two doctoral completions; currently supervising nine doctoral students

Degree Examiner Appointments

University of Glasgow
University of Derby
University of Wales
City University of New York

Centre or Group

European Centre for Photographic Research

Current Research Students

David Barnes
Director of Studies: Mark Durden – Title: ‘Small Stories’ – Photographer and community practice in Wales.

Daniel Blaufuks
Director of Studies: Mark Durden – Title: Photography in the works of Georges Perec and W.G. Sebald and the relation to Memory and the Holocaust (Working-title)

Alfredo Cramerotti
Director of Study: Professor Mark Durden – Title: Expanded Photography: The Hyperimage

George Petry
Director of Studies: Mark Durden – Title: The Vietnam War archive of Welsh Photographer Philip Jones Griffiths.

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