Victoria Noel-Johnson Ph.D. is an independent British art historian and curator, specialising in early 20th century European art, with expertise in the work of Giorgio de Chirico (1888-1978). Her analysis of important 20th century artists, as well as the reconstruction of now-dispersed European art collections and historic exhibitions, forms the basis of recent and forthcoming publications and projects.
Between 2008-2017, Victoria worked as the Curator of Fondazione Giorgio e Isa de Chirico (Rome) where she managed the Foundation’s extensive art collection and oversaw its international exhibition programme, including the organisation of shows in Russia, Japan and Brazil. During her tenure, she curated exhibitions in Italy and abroad and published widely in accompanying catalogues, publications and academic journals. She also coordinated and edited numerous publications such as La Casa-museo de Chirico (2009) and Giorgio de Chirico. Catalogo ragionato dell’opera sacra (2012). In 2017, she published the extensive De Chirico and the United Kingdom (c. 1916-1978), which was nominated for the William MB Berger Prize for British Art History (2018).
Over recent years, she has curated multiple exhibitions with accompanying catalogues, including:
Giorgio de Chirico: The Changing Face of Metaphysical Art, Palazzo Ducale, Genoa, 30 March - 1 September 2019;
Picasso, de Chirico and Dalì: A Dialogue with Raphael (curated by B. Avanzi and V. Noel-Johnson), MART, Rovereto, 2 May - 29 August 2021);
Joan Miró: The Essence of Past and Present Things, BAM – Musée des Beaux Arts, Mons, Belgium, 8 October 2022 – 8 January 2023;
Lee Miller - Man Ray: Fashion, Love, War, Palazzo Franchetti, Venice, 5 November 2022 – 10 April 2023;
Kay Sage and Yves Tanguy: Ring of Iron, Ring of Wool, Helly Nahmad Gallery, New York, 9 May – 29 July 2023.
Victoria holds a first-class degree in History of Art (M.A. Hons) from the University of Edinburgh and received her Ph.D from the University of Glasgow with the thesis Taking possession of the past: Giorgio de Chirico and the great masters.
She is a member of the International Catalogue Raisonné Association (ICRA) and Association of Art History (AAH).
Early 20th century Italian art, with a focus on Giorgio de Chirico's artwork and its influence on wide-ranging artistic movements including Surrealism, Magic Realism, Neue Sachlichkeit, the Novecento, Pop Art, Transavanguardia, and aspects of Postmodernism;
The revival of classicism in the work of select early 20th century European artists associated with the ‘Return to order’ (retour à l’ordre) phenomenon that took root in post-bellum Europe;
Charting the development of early 20th century European artists from figurative painting to increasing abstraction;
The reconstruction and revision of historically-important early 20th century exhibitions and art collections, placing particular emphasis on newly-retrieved archival documentation.