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Professor of Visual and Material Culture, University of Brighton

Annebella Pollen is Professor of Visual and Material Culture at University of Brighton, UK. Her research areas include mass photography and the popular image, and histories of art, craft, design and dress, especially marginal, alternative and non-canonical forms.

She is the author of Art without Frontiers: The Story of the British Council, Visual Arts and a Changing World (2023); Nudism in a Cold Climate: The Visual Culture of Naturists in Mid-Twentieth-Century Britain (2021) and The Kindred of the Kibbo Kift: Intellectual Barbarians (2015), a study of a 1920s utopian English artist-led youth group, which won a Most Beautiful Book prize from the Swiss Federal Office of Culture, and was accompanied by a 2015-16 exhibition at Whitechapel Gallery.

Annebella’s research in photography has covered the subject of found photos, family albums, vernacular archives, amateur competitions and the photographic industry; this work underpins her book, Mass Photography: Collective Histories of Everyday Life (2015), her co-edited collection, Photography Reframed: New Visions in Contemporary Photographic Culture (2018), and her image-led book, More than a Snapshot: A Visual History of Photo Wallets (2023).

Histories of fashion and graphic design inform Annebella's popular image research, which includes studies of Victorian valentines, Edwardian postcards and the silhouette portrait. She co-edited Dress History: New Directions in Theory and Practice (2015) and has authored essays on dressing-up costume, political uniforms, secondhand clothes and dress reform.


  • –present
    Principal Lecturer in the History of Art and Design, University of Brighton


Philip Leverhulme Prize, 2021