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Matthew Cornford


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Personal profile

Research interests

Matthew Cornford is an artist and leads the BA (Hons) Fine Art Critical Practice course at the University of Brighton.

He began working with David Cross after graduating from the RCA in 1991, for over 20-years Cornford & Cross created a wide range of art projects in response to specific contexts and situations. Their work and projects have been exhibited in Europe, North America and at galleries in the UK including Camden Arts Centre, ICA, John Hansard Gallery, Photographers Gallery, De La Warr Pavilion and Wolverhampton Art Gallery. A monograph on their work, Cornford & Cross, including an essay by John Roberts was published in 2009.

For a number of years Matthew Cornford has worked with Professor John Beck (University of Westminster) researching the cultural history of British art schools, including an ongoing topographic survey of former British art school buildings. Since 2009, they have given numerous talks at galleries and universities, including ‘Excavating the British Art School’, Utopics in Art and Architecture, Chelsea College of Art and Design, 2010 and ‘The Lost World of the Provincial British Art School’ at Tate Britain’s 2011, Reflections on the Art School conference. The Journal of Visual Culture published their article ‘The Art School in Ruins’ in 2012 and an artists’ book, The Art School and the Culture Shed, was published in 2014. Their exhibition ‘The Art Schools of North West England’ at the Bluecoat, Liverpool is the first occasion their photographs and texts will have been exhibited in a public gallery.


  • NX Arts in general
  • Art education
  • Architectural photography
  • Art school
  • Fine Art

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Art School Arts & Humanities
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Liverpool Arts & Humanities
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Research Output 2008 2019

Art Schools Remind us…

Cornford, M. & Beck, J., 15 Jan 2019, In : Double Negative.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Art School

The Art Schools of North West England Radio Programme

Cornford, M., 19 Jan 2019

Research output: Other contribution

Open Access
Art School
Historic Sites

The North West Art School Record Machine

Beck, J. & Cornford, M., 12 Oct 2019

Research output: Non-textual outputExhibition

Art School

The Art Schools of North West, England: Exhibition of photographs and texts

Cornford, M. & Beck, J., 17 Nov 2018

Research output: Non-textual outputExhibition

Art School
Middle Class

How Do You Write a Risk Assessment for Lips of Thomas?

Cornford, M., 1 Dec 2016, In : Performance Research. 21, 6, p. 107-112 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Risk Assessment

Activities 2016 2019

The Art Schools of North West England and Beyond

Matthew Cornford (Invited presenter), John Beck (Presenter)
13 Jun 2019

Activity: External talk or presentationInvited talk

Association for Art History

Annebella Pollen (Member of programme committee), Lara Perry (Member of programme committee), Louise Purbrick (Member of programme committee), Claire Wintle (Member of programme committee), Naomi Salaman (Member of programme committee), Matthew Cornford (Member of programme committee), Jeremy Aynsley (Member of programme committee)
4 Apr 20196 Apr 2019

Activity: EventsConference

The Idea of Art School

Matthew Cornford (Presenter), John Beck (Presenter)
27 Jun 2018

Activity: External talk or presentationInvited talk

In Search of the Lost Art School

Matthew Cornford (Presenter)
16 Apr 2018

Activity: External talk or presentationInvited talk

Association for Art History Annual Conference 2018

Naomi Salaman (Presenter), Matthew Cornford (Presenter)
5 Apr 2018

Activity: External talk or presentationInvited talk