Visionary Artists, Visionary Objects (1800-now)

  • Naomi Billingsley (Chair)

Activity: Participating in or organising event(s)Organising a conference, workshop, exhibition, performance, inquiry, course etcResearch


This international network centres on the work of visionary artists, and on the nature of visionary art. The focus is on artists from 1800 onwards – the period during which institutional religions began to see dramatic transformations and in which art became elevated to a religious sphere of its own - and will consider the work of artists such as William Blake, Leonora Carrington, Wassily Kandinsky, Hilma af Klint, Piet Mondrian and George Frederick Watts.

The network investigates questions such as: does the visionary see the future, re-envision the present, or transcend temporal perception; how does vision become material in art, and are there distinctive features that characterise the visionary artist and visionary art; and what are the roles of academic and cultural institutions in defining and mediating the status of visionary art?

The inaugural meeting takes place in Manchester in February 2018, funded by the SALC Networking Fund. It includes a collections-based session at the Whitworth and presented papers by participants.

The second pilot meeting is planned at the University of Groningen in early 2019.

The network is jointly convened by Dr Naomi Billingsley (JRRI) and Dr Lieke Wijnia (Center for Religion and Heritage, University of Groningen).
Period8 Feb 2018 → …
Event typeOther
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Visionary Art
  • Visionary Artists
  • Art History
  • Art
  • Visionaries

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • John Rylands Research Institute and Library