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Natasha Awais-Dean

Dr Natasha Awais-Dean

Visiting Research Fellow


Natasha studied Modern & Medieval Languages as an undergraduate at the University of Cambridge, followed by an MA in History of Design at the Royal College of Art, where she specialised in Renaissance decorative arts. She received her doctorate from Queen Mary, University of London in 2012. Her project (‘Bejewelled: the male body and adornment in early modern England’) was an AHRC-funded Collaborative Doctoral Award with the British Museum as the partner institution. Natasha has curatorial experience from working at three national museums: the British Museum (Curator of Post-Medieval Collections), the Victoria & Albert Museum (Assistant Curator of the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Collection), and the National Portrait Gallery (Associate Curator, Research Coordinator). She is Features Editor of Jewellery History Today, published by the Society of Jewellery Historians.

Research interests 

  • Early modern European material culture and decorative arts
  • Jewellery history
  • Early modern masculinity

Natasha’s research interests focus mainly on the material culture of early modern Europe, with particular specialism in jewellery and metalwork.

Expertise and public engagement

Natasha presents regularly at conferences and gave the keynote paper at The Costume Society’s annual conference in 2015 on the theme of ‘Gold’. More recently, in February 2018, she was invited to deliver a lecture to the Antiquarian Society of the Art Institute of Chicago. Natasha has given guest lectures at BA and MA level at universities around the country. She has experience in giving gallery talks on museum collections in the British Museum and the V&A, and she has presented at courses designed for adult learners. In 2011-2012, she collaborated with silversmiths from the postgraduate training workshop Bishopsland commissioning works from them for a display she curated, which was designed as a gallery intervention at the British Museum (see Inspired: Contemporary Views of Renaissance Jewellery).

Natasha is an elected staff member of the College Council.

Selected publications

  • Bejewelled: Men and Jewellery in Tudor and Jacobean England (London: The British Museum, 2017)
  • ‘Redressing the Balance: dress accessories of the non-elites in early modern England’ in Dress and Society: Contributions from Archaeology, ed. By R. Weetch and T. Martin (Oxford & Philadelphia: Oxbow Books, 2017)
  • ‘A Rothschild Renaissance: Treasures from the Waddesdon Bequest. A Review’, Jewellery History Today, no. 24 (Autumn 2015), p.9
  • Five catalogue entries in T. Cooper, Elizabeth I and Her People, (London: National Portrait Gallery, 2013)
  • ‘Gold and Silver’, with Ann Eatwell in The Gilbert Collection, ed. By T. Schroder (London: V&A Publishing, 2009)