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Professor in Art History, University of Sydney

Born and raised in Canberra, ACT, Roger Benjamin took an Honours degree in Philosophy and Fine Arts at the University of Melbourne in 1979. His MA and PhD were undertaken at Bryn Mawr College outside Philadelphia, whence his doctoral work on early Matisse took him to Paris (1982-83). Roger was appointed in 1984 as Lecturer in Fine Arts at Melbourne where he worked until 1998. From 1998-2000 he was a Research Fellow at the Centre for Cross-Cultural Research, Australian National University. He then taught at the ANU School of Art until his appointment as Power Professor and Director of the Power Institute at the University of Sydney (2003). From 2007 he has been Professor of Art History in the Dept. of Art History and Film Studies at Sydney. His visiting fellowships include the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (Paris) and the Clark Art Institute (Williamstown, Mass.). In 2013 Prof Benjamin was awarded the prestigious 3-year Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award of the Australian Research Council. In 2020, two years after having his grant vetoed by Minister Simon Birmingham, he was awarded an ARC Discovery grant for the project "Art and Cultural Exchange at the Strait of Gibraltar". Benjamin's new book "Growing Up Modern: Canberra's Round House and Alex Jelinek" will be published by Halstead Press in late 2022.


  • 2003–present
    Professor of Art History, University of Sydney


  • 1985 
    Bryn Mawr College, Philadelphia, PhD


  • 2015
    Kandinsky and Klee in Tunisia: East of Color, University of California Press
  • 2009
    Icons of the Desert: Early Aboriginal Painting from Papunya, Johnson Museum Cornell University
  • 2006
    Juan Davila, Melbourne University Publishing
  • 2003
    Orientalist Aesthetics: Art, Colonialism and French North Africa, University of California Press

Grants and Contracts

  • 2013
    Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award
    Full-time researcher 2013-16
    Funding Source:
    Australian Research Council

Research Areas

  • Art History (190102)
  • Visual Cultures (190104)
  • Multicultural, Intercultural And Cross Cultural Studies (200209)


Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities