We use analytics to help us understand how people use our site. This means we set a cookie. See our cookie policy.


Karen Hearn

Karen Hearn was the Curator of 16th & 17th Century British Art at Tate Britain, London, from 1992 to 2012. She is now an Honorary Professor at University College London.

She specialises in art made in Britain between 1500 and 1710. Migrant artists and the British-Netherlandish cultural links of that period are her particular focus.

In 1995, she curated the major Tate exhibition Dynasties: Painting in Tudor & Jacobean England 1530–1630, for which she received a European Woman of Achievement Award. At Tate Britain, she subsequently curated Van Dyck & Britain (2009) and Rubens & Britain (2011-12). At the National Portrait Gallery in London, she curated Cornelius Johnson: Charles I’s Forgotten Painter (2015) and wrote the accompanying book. She is now working on a full-scale monograph on Johnson, as well as a study of Anthony van Dyck’s London workshop.

Her 2020 book Portraying Pregnancy: from Holbein to Social Media accompanied her exhibition of the same title at The Foundling Museum, London. She continues to work on portraits of women, primarily British, who were depicted at a time when they were pregnant. For a full list of her publications, see

Member collage

Join our network

BAN has a membership of over 1,000. All are actively involved in curatorial practice and theory in the field of British art. You can use the search function at the top right of the page to locate members according to their research interests or institutional affiliations.
This Directory currently includes bursary holders and members of the Steering Group.  The Directory is in the process of being developed so that it will eventually include profiles for all Members who wish to be included.

Become a member