• York Street, Belfast Campus

    BT15 1ED Belfast

    United Kingdom


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Personal profile


Joseph McBrinn (MA, PhD) was educated and has worked in Ireland, Scotland and France.  He has taught at the art schools in Dublin and Belfast since 2000.  He is an Irish art historian and he also writes about design, craft, film, fashion, textiles, photography, architecture and popular culture.  

He has served as a member of the Executive Committee and Board of Trustees of the Association of Art Historians (AAH) as well as on numerous examining committees, advisory panels and peer-review boards in universities, museums and other organisations.  He has held individual research awards from Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences, An Chomhairle Éalaíon, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Irish Georgian Society, Esmé Mitchell Trust and a Wellcome Trust Medical Humanities Small Research Award as well as contributing to collaborative awards from the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Leverhulme Trust.   

He has published on the intersecting histories of masculinity, disability and the queer in modern art and design in several peer-reviewed journals (including, The Journal of Design History, The Journal of Modern Craft and Textile: Cloth and Culture), culminating in the single-authored, peer-reviewed monograph Queering the Subversive Stitch: Men and the Culture of Needlework (Bloomsbury, 2021).   

He has served as an Editor, and has served on the Editorial Advisory Board, of journals such as The Journal of Modern Craft and Textile: Cloth and Culture (both Taylor & Francis); he has written extensively for the Irish art press, including Circa and the Irish Arts Review; and since 2018 he has written a column on fashion photography for Source: The Photographic Review.  He is the author of book chapters and essays on the Celtic Revival, the Irish Arts and Crafts movement, modernism and design reform in Ireland, as well as on the artists Beatrice Elvery, Mia Cranwill and Eileen Gray.  He is the author of the books Sophia Rosamond Praeger, 1867-1954: Art, Literature, Science (2007) and Northern Rhythm: The Art of John Luke, 1906-1975 (2012).  He is currently writing a biography of the Cubist painter and stained glass designer Evie Hone (1894-1955).


Education/Academic qualification



External positions

External Examiner, Manchester Metropolitan University


Peer Review College Member, AHRC

5 Dec 202031 Dec 2022

Design Research Judge IDI Awards 2020, Irish Design Awards

2020 → …

Future Leader Fellowships, Peer Review College member, AHRC


External Examiner, BA (Hons) Creative Design, Institute of Technology Sligo


Peer Review College member, AHRC

1 May 20174 Dec 2020

External Examiner, BA (Hons) Design for Stage and Screen, Institute of Art, Design and Technology Dun Laoghaire, ROI


External Examiner, BA (Hons) Design, University of Sunderland



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