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Benedict Carpenter van Barthold

Principal Lecturer

School of Art & Design

Staff Group(s)
Academic Division Fine Art Undergraduate and Professional Education


Benedict Carpenter van Barthold (Ben) is responsible for the management of the BA and MFA programmes in Fine Art and the academics that teach on these programmes. He is actively engaged in researching material arts practices. He is an experienced research student supervisor, and is interested in hearing from prospective research students.

Career overview

Ben has worked in UK universities since 1998. From 2013 he was employed at De Montfort University, leaving in 2019 as Associate Professor in Fine Art and Associate Head of School of Visual and Performing Arts.

Ben trained as an artist at Chelsea College of Art and Design and the Royal College of Art, and has a PhD from Manchester Metropolitan University. He was awarded the Jerwood Sculpture Prize in 2001. He has exhibited at the Venice Biennale and completed a number of permanently sited commissions.

Research areas

Ben’s interests focus on the relationship of material and content in made things and the emergence of meaning in craft and arts practice. Areas of interest include:

  • Material knowledge
  • Human improvisation through mechanical systems
  • Haptic knowledge in the crafts and arts
  • The emergence of meaning in material practice
  • Art medals

Enquiry from prospective research students working in these areas is welcome.

External activity

Board Memberships


  • 2013-2016: Honorary Research Fellow, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, University of Wolverhampton
  • 2009-Present: Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

External Quality Assurance

  • 2017-2019: External Examiner, MA Fine Art, Swansea College of Art, University of Wales, Trinity St. David
  • 2017: External Panel Member, Validation of BA(hons) Design Crafts, University of Gloucester
  • 2017: External Panel Member, Validation for BA(hons) Fine Art, Newcastle College


Carpenter van Barthold, B. (2020) ‘David Pye’s Fluting Engine’ in Lee, Y. (ed.) Surface and Apparition: The Immateriality of Modern Surface, London; New York: Bloomsbury, pp. 99-115

Mosscrop, M., and Carpenter van Barthold, B. (2020) ‘Journal (2016-2018): Conversations on Looms, Cloth and Weaving’ in Lee, Y. (ed) Surface and Apparition: The Immateriality of Modern Surface, London; New York: Bloomsbury, pp. 116-123

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