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Professor Evelyn Welch

Professor Evelyn Welch FKC

Professor Evelyn WelchProfessor of Renaissance Studies

Provost & Senior Vice President (Arts & Sciences)

Tel +44 (0)20 7848 1805

Address King’s College London
Room K1.24
King's Building
London WC2R 2LS



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).       

Research interests
  • 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.

Selected publications
  • ‘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.
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. 
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