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Matthew Mason

Matthew J. Mason is a DPhil student in Contemporary Art History and Theory at the Ruskin School of Art and St John’s College.

He studies modern and contemporary art and exhibition, with a particular focus on the relationship between aesthetics and politics. His doctoral thesis offers a re-examination of the origins of the independent curator, before exploring this figure’s subsequent entanglement with international politics in the latter half of the twentieth century, particularly in the context of the Cold War and during the global expansion of neoliberalism after 1989.  

Prior to commencing his studies at Oxford, Matthew received a Master of Arts in Art History from Stanford University, as well as a Bachelor of Laws; a Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honours in the History of Art; and a Diploma in Modern Languages in Italian from the University of Western Australia, where he also worked as an Associate Lecturer, developing and teaching courses on modern and contemporary art as well as curatorial and exhibition histories.

His writing has appeared in Senses of Cinema, in addition to exhibition catalogues in both Australia and the United States, and he has previously held positions at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, the Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, and the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery.

His study at the University of Oxford is supported by a Clarendon Fund Scholarship and a St John’s College Clarendon Award, and he can be contacted at matthew.mason@rsa.ox.ac.uk.