Marcia Pointon, is a historian of British art. She trained at the University of Manchester, receiving her PhD there in 1974. From 1975, she was at the University of Sussex, becoming Professor of the History of Art in 1989. In 1992, she moved to the University of Manchester to take the Pilkington Professorship in the History of Art, a position she held until 2002. She now works as a free-lance consultant and researcher.
Pointon is a prolific author, widely recognised as one of the leading scholars of British art. She has written fifteen books and numerous scholarly articles and reviews. Her innovative approach to the subject emerged with her book Naked Authority: The Body in Western Painting and developed further with Hanging the Head: Portraiture and Social Formation in Eighteenth-Century England. Continuing her exploration of the semiotics of the body, Pointon published Brilliant Effects: A Cultural History of Gem Stones and Jewellery, a study of personal adornment in western culture.'Brilliant Effects' was awarded the Historians of British Art book prize in 2011(single author category post 1800 for books oublished 2010/2011. Her most recent book is Portrayal and the Search for Identity, Reaktion Books 2013, ISBN 9781780230412, reviewed in Apollo Magazine July/August 2013: , p. 97' Pointon has led the field in applying theoretical discourse to the business of thinking about art, notably in the context of long eighteenth-century British culture.'
Pointon's most read work is probably History of Art: A Students' Handbook (1980) which has become an established introductory text for students beginning in art history. The book was reissued in new editions in 1986, 1993 and 1997.A new and substantially rewritten edition will be published by Routledge March 2014.
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- History of Art: A Students' Handbook. Allen & Unwin, 1980 and see later editions.
- Naked Authority: The Body in Western Painting.
- Hanging the Head: Portraiture and Social Formation in Eighteenth-Century England.
- Strategies for Showing: Women Possession, and representation in English Visual Culture 1665-1800
- Brilliant Effects: A Cultural History of Gem Stones and Jewellery.
- Interview with Marcia Pointon. Association of Art Historians, 2011. Archived here
- About Us. Art History and Visual Studies, University of Manchester, 2012. Retrieved 31 October 2012. Archived here.
- See http://www.marciapointon.org
- "Marcia Pointon, author". Library Thing. Retrieved 29 September 2012.
- Naked Authority: The Body in Western Painting 1830-1906, Cambridge University Press, 1990.
- Hanging the Head: Portraiture and Social Formation in Eighteenth-Century England, Yale University Press, 1993.
- Brilliant Effects: A Cultural History of Gem Stones and Jewellery, New Haven and London, Yale University Press, 2009. ISBN 978-0-300-14278-5. For a review see Eighteenth-Century Studies, Volume 44, Number 2, Winter 2011 E-ISSN: 1086-315X Print ISSN: 0013-2586; http://muse.jhu.edu/login?uri=/journals/eighteenth-century_studies/v044/44.2.batchelor.pdf