Peter Lord (art historian)

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Peter Lord (born 1948)[1] is an English sculptor and art historian based in Wales. He is best known for his books[2] and television programmes about the history of Welsh art, and is regarded as a leading authority on the subject.[3] Critic Andrew Green has said that The Visual Culture of Wales, Lord's three-volume series published by University of Wales Press, "restored to Wales a narrative of visual art that had been lost or denied for decades".[4]


Lord was born in Exeter and his early art education came from sculptor Peter Thursby. He studied Fine Arts at the University of Reading, graduating in 1970 and moving to Wales in 1975.[5] He worked as a sculptor and painter until 1986, when he began writing. One of his most notable works as a sculptor is the Hywel Dda Memorial at Whitland,[6] He also designed the chapel of St Padarn at St Padarn's Church, Llanbadarn Fawr, between 1985 and 1988.[7]

During his residence in Wales, Lord has learned to speak the Welsh language and now writes and broadcasts in both English and Welsh.[8] In 1999 he wrote and presented a seven-part series for BBC Wales, entitled The Big Picture.[9] His 2016 publication, The Tradition, has been described as "the first account of the history of Welsh art for over half a century.[10]

Lord is a part-time Research Fellow at Swansea University.[11] Prior to joining the academic staff at Swansea, Lord was a research fellow at the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies in Aberystwyth.[12] He was also Visiting Fellow at the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven, Connecticut, USA (1994), where he occasionally lectures.[13]



  • Gwenllian: Essays on Visual Culture (Gomer Press, 1994)
  • Medieval Vision (Visual Culture of Wales series) (University of Wales Press, 2003)
  • The Industrial Society (Visual Culture of Wales) (University of Wales Press, 2004)
  • Imaging the Nation (Visual Culture of Wales) (University of Wales Press, 2004)
  • The Meaning of Pictures: Personal, Social and National Identity (University of Wales Press, 2009)
  • Relationships with Pictures: an Oblique Autobiography (Parthian Books, 2013)[14]
  • The Tradition: A New History of Welsh Art (Parthian Books, 2016)


  • The Big Picture (BBC, 1999)


  1. ^ "Peter Lord". Parthian Books. Retrieved 4 April 2016.
  2. ^ "Peter Lord". Writers of Wales database. Literature Wales. Retrieved 4 April 2016.
  3. ^ "Art historian Peter Lord on the meaning of reflection". Wales Online. 28 November 2009. Retrieved 4 April 2016.
  4. ^ Green, Andrew (18 June 2013). "Peter Lord: iconographer/iconoclast". Gwallter. Retrieved 4 April 2016.
  5. ^ "Hywel Dda Memorial – Cofeb Hywel Dda". Public Monuments and Sculpture Association National Recording Project. Retrieved 4 April 2016.
  6. ^ Public Monuments and Sculpture Association National Recording Project: Hywel Dda Memorial – Cofeb Hywel Dda. Retrieved 4 April 2016
  7. ^ "Church of St Padarn, Llanbadarn Fawr". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 4 April 2016.
  8. ^ "Staff – Peter Lord". Swansea University School of Arts and Humanities. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  9. ^ "The Big Picture". Element Productions. Retrieved 4 April 2016.
  10. ^ "Art historian Peter Lord publishes book on the history of Welsh art". Daily Post. 5 March 2016. Retrieved 4 April 2016.
  11. ^ "Staff – Peter Lord". Swansea University School of Arts and Humanities. Retrieved 4 April 2016.
  12. ^ "The Meaning of Pictures by Peter Lord: About the Author". University of Wales Press. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  13. ^ "PhD Researcher Presents Work at Yale". University of South Wales. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  14. ^ "Relationships with Pictures by Peter Lord". Wales Arts Review. 5 July 2013. Retrieved 4 April 2016.