Professor Evelyn Welch
Professor of Renaissance Studies
Vice-Principal (Arts & Sciences)
Tel +44 (0)20 7848 1805
King’s College London
London WC2B 6NR
I studied Renaissance History and Literature at Harvard University and then went on to gain my PhD from The Warburg Institute. I have held positions at the Universities of Essex, the Warburg Institute, Birkbeck, Sussex and Queen Mary, University of London and came to King’s in 2013. My roles have involved a considerable level of management experience and I am now Vice-Principal (Arts & Sciences).
Renaissance and Early Modern Material Culture
Consumption in Early Modern Europe
Dress and Fashion in Early Modern Europe
Smell and the Senses in Early Modern Europe
My early work centred on Renaissance Milan and fifteenth-century court culture. I became interested in issues of consumption and went on to work with colleagues in Economic History and Cultural History, resulting in my publications on shopping, marketplaces and pedlars. I have led a number of major collaborative projects including ‘The Material Renaissance: Costs and Consumption in Italy, 1300-1600’; ‘ Fashioning the Early Modern: Creativity and Innovation in Europe, 1500-1800’; and ‘Beyond Text: Performances, Sounds, Images, Objects’.
My current work asks how and why objects and actions (such as ruffs, wearing a beard, piercing your ears, using fans, etc.) spread in Europe and why others did not.
For more details, please see my full research profile.
‘Scented Gloves and Perfumed Buttons: Smelling Things in Renaissance Italy’, in Ornamentalism: Accessories in Renaissance Europe, ed. Bella Mirabella, University of Michigan Press, 2012.
with James Shaw, Making and Marketing Renaissance Medicine: the Speziale al Giglio in Florence, 1493-1494, Wellcome Trust History of Medicine Clio Medica series, Rodopi, Amsterdam, 2011.
Shopping in the Renaissance. Consumer Cultures in Italy, 1350-1600, Yale University Press, 2005
Art in Renaissance Italy, 1350-1500, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2000.
Art and Authority in Renaissance Milan, Yale University Press, London, 1995.
with Michelle O’Malley, eds, The Material Renaissance, Manchester University Press, Manchester, 2007.
For a complete list of publications, please see Evelyn's full profile
Early Modern European History and Material Culture
Expertise and public engagement
I work closely with museums and galleries and with media companies to ensure that early modern material culture is well understood by the public. I have been involved in the development of the V&A’s Medieval and Renaissance Galleries and the Europe, 1600-1800 galleries.