Martin Kemp

Professor Martin Kemp was trained in Natural Sciences and Art History at Cambridge University and the Courtauld Institute, London. Between 1981-1990 he was Professor of the History of Art in St Andrews and served as a Trustee of the National Galleries of Scotland.

He has curated and co-curated a series of exhibitions on Leonardo and other themes, including Spectacular Bodies at the Hayward Gallery in London and Leonardo da Vinci. Experience, Experiment, Design at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2006.  Over his career he has had numerous honours and awards including visiting professor and research posts at New York, Chapel Hill, Chicago, I Tatti (Harvard) and Princeton universities.

His books include, The Science of Art. Optical Themes in Western Art from Brunelleschi to Seurat (Yale), and The Human Animal in Western Art and Science (Chicago). He has published extensively on Leonardo da Vinci, including the prize-winning Leonardo da Vinci. The marvellous works of nature and man. Many of the books have been translated and republished overseas. He was also arts contributor for Nature for more than 10 years. More recent books include - Christ to Coke. How image becomes icon (Oxford, 2012) and The Chapel of Trinity College Oxford, Scala, 2013.

Martin is a regular speaker at book events and festivals, and also a patron of Blenheim Palace Literary Festival.

Related Sessions
Sunday 19 October 2014, 10.00 Conservatory


From Christ to Coke: how image becomes icon (OUP Oxford, 2011)

Should we fear democracy?

"Some of the freest speech I have enjoyed in years."
Baroness Ruth Deech QC, crossbench peer; chairman, Bar Standards Board

follow the Academy of Ideas


Keep up to date with Academy of Ideas news and events by joining our mailing list.