Prof. Malcolm Baker

Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University of California, Riverside

Brief biography

Malcolm Baker is an art historian, museum curator and leading expert on eighteenth-century British, French and German sculpture and the history of collecting and display. Malcolm began his career in the museum sector by working as Assistant Keeper of the Department of Art & Archaeology at the Royal Scottish Museum in Edinburgh (1969-1980) and between 2003-2007 he worked for the Getty Research Institute. He spent many years working at the Victoria & Albert Museum (1980-2005) where he made an invaluable contribution, first as Assistant Keeper, Department of Sculpture, and later as Deputy Head of Research and Head of the Mediaeval and Renaissance Galleries Project. In this latter post, Malcolm oversaw the redevelopment of a whole wing of the museum, the curatorial achievement of which he is most proud.

Malcolm’s career also spans the university sector. He has taught at the Universities of York and Sussex, and in 2007 became Distinguished Professor of the History of Art at University of California, Riverside. He retired in 2019 and lives in London, retaining his links to the US through his position as Distinguished Emeritus Professor at Riverside. Archival materials deriving from Malcolm’s research into Roubiliac and the Eighteenth-Century Monument: Sculpture as Theatre (Yale, 1995), co-edited with David Bindman, are held at the Paul Mellon Centre for British Art in London. Malcolm is the author of numerous publications, including The Marble Index: Roubiliac and Sculptural Portraiture in Eighteenth-Century Britain (Yale, 2015), Fame and Friendship: Pope, Roubiliac and the Portrait Bust in Eighteenth-Century Britain (Paul Holberton, 2014) and Figured in Marble: the Making and Viewing of Eighteenth-Century Sculpture (V&A, 2001).

Keynote: Malcolm Baker