Mary Roberts

Professor Mary Roberts

  • Post Nominals: FAHA
  • Fellow Type: Fellow
  • Elected to the Academy: 2016
  • Section(s): European Languages And Cultures, Arts


Mary Roberts is Professor of Art History and Nineteenth-Century Studies at the University of Sydney. Her research interests include patterns of transcultural exchange between Europe and the Near East in the modern period, Ottoman visual culture, nineteenth-century European art, debates about the Global History of Art, post-colonial theory and material culture. Roberts has been awarded residential fellowships at the Yale Center for British Art, Getty Research Institute, Clark Art Institute, Centre for the Advanced Studies of the Visual Arts at the National Gallery in Washington and has been a visiting scholar at Northwestern University.

From 2015 to 2017 she was the Robert Sterling Clark Visiting Professor in Art History at Williams College, MA. In 2016 she was awarded Best Book Prize, for Istanbul Exchanges: Ottomans, Orientalists and Nineteenth-century Visual Culture (University of California Press, 2015) from the Art Association of Australia and New Zealand. She is currently writing a book on artists as collectors of Islamic art in the nineteenth century. Focusing on networks and practices of collecting and displaying Islamic art in the semi-public spaces of artists’ studios in Istanbul, Krakow, Paris, London, and Moscow this project explores the role of these objects in modern aesthetics and inchoate histories of Islamic art.

Acknowledgement of Country

The Australian Academy of the Humanities recognises Australia’s First Nations Peoples as the traditional owners and custodians of this land, and their continuous connection to country, community and culture.