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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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Research Output

Art Schools Remind us…

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • The Art Schools of North West England Radio Programme

    Cornford, M., 19 Jan 2019

    Research output: Other contribution

    Open Access
  • The North West Art School Record Machine

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

    Research output: Non-textual outputExhibition

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

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

    Research output: Non-textual outputExhibition

  • 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
  • Activities

    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