University College London Featured PhD Programmes
University of Southampton Featured PhD Programmes
University College London Featured PhD Programmes
University of Glasgow Featured PhD Programmes
University College London Featured PhD Programmes

The Material Significance of Ancient Chinese Bronzes from the Yunnan Region/South West China (Advert reference FAC19/ADSS/ARTS/BROWN)

  • Full or part time
    Ms J Brown
  • Application Deadline
    Thursday, January 02, 2020
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Northumbria University Gallery holds the Woon Collection of Asian Art, which includes a significant number of rare ancient Chinese bronzes including a Standing Acouye Guanyin and a Seated Acuoye both from the late Nanzhao (AD 653-902) Kingdom and an Amitabha Buddha and a Vairocan Buddha both seated in Dhyanasana pose both from the Dali Kingdom (AD 937-1253). The project would further our understanding of the elemental composition and the methods of manufacture used in ancient Chinese bronzes in the Woon collection and other collections in the UK. The successful PhD student would also help shape our understanding of what influenced the technology used as well as the best approach to the care and interpretation of ancient Chinese bronzes in Museum Collections. Although there is research on the history of early Chinese bronzes from this area there is little from the technological perspective.
Jean Brown is the Director of the University Art Collection and is an experienced practising conservator who has developed and delivered an MA in Preventive Conservation for over 14 years. She worked at the British Museum and the National Museum of Wales before joining Northumbria University where she is an Associate Professor. She has also worked for the International Council of Museums Conservation Committee (ICOM CC) for over 20 years and was elected to the Board of Directors in 2014. As such, she has extensive networks around the world that can be drawn upon to support the research. The University has an experienced team of Scientists in the Department of Applied Science and Conservators in the Department of Arts who would provide support for the research.
Unique benefits include:

• Direct access to a small, but significant collection of Chinese bronzes
• Experienced academics and well-equipped science and conservation laboratories including: XRF, X Ray, FTIR, GCMS, Scanning Electron Microscope/EDX etc.
• Access to portable analytical equipment to study ancient Chinese bronzes in other UK collections
• A close relationship with the Woon family, providing access to networks across Asia
• A unique relationship with the V&A through John Clarke Curator of the Asian Collection and Visiting Professor providing support for the supervisory team

Avenues that might be explored amongst others might include investigating:
• The material and structural characteristics of ancient Chinese bronzes from the Yunnan province and South West China
• A comparison of archaeological and reagent induced patinas
• Knowledge exchange in casting techniques etc. via trade routes
• Approaches to the care and interpretation of ancient bronzes from Yunnan and South West China in Museum collections

The Principal Supervisor is Jean Brown

Please note eligibility requirement:

• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 in Conservation, Science, Technical Art History or Archaeology (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.
• Applicants cannot apply for this funding if currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria or elsewhere.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see

Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g. FAC19/ADSS/ARTS/BROWN) will not be considered.

Deadline for applications: 2 January 2020
Start Date: 1 March 2020

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.

Funding Notes

The studentship is available to Home and EU students where a full stipend, paid for three years at RCUK rates (for 2019/20, this is £15,009 pa) and full fees.


Brown A.J.E., CONSERVATION NOW, Journal of the Institute of Conservation, Vol 40 – issue 2 pp 133 – 151, 2017
Brown A.J.E., Preventive Conservation, Association des Préventeurs Universitaires – Conservation du Patrimoine (APrévU), National Archives, Paris, June 2017
Brown, A J.E. Introduction to the Science of Preventive Conservation: Preservation and Management of Collections, Karydis, Kouloumbi & Sakellariou (eds), Athens, Time Heritage Publications 2012
Brown, A J.E and Karydis, C. From Education to the Practice: Preventive Conservation in the UK and Greece. Science of Preventive Conservation: Preservation and Management of Collections, Karydis, Kouloumbi & Sakellariou (eds), Athens, Time Heritage Publications 2012
Brown A. Jean E., Mulholland R., Vassiliev V., Graham M., Riley J. & Eakins J., When images work faster than words - The Integration of Content-Based Image Retrieval with the Watermark Archive, (2002), ICOM-CC 13th Triennial Meeting, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, published Restaurator 2002 ISBN 0034-5806 pp 187 - 203
Brown A. Jean E., Mulholland R., The Watermark Archive - Recording Watermarks by Radiography and other means for the creation of a Digital Watermarks Database, (2002), IIC 19th Triennial Congress – Baltimore
Brown A. Jean E. Mulholland R, Graham M & Riley J, Watermarks on the Web, Digital Resources for the Humanities, June 2001, ISBN 1 897791 17 8 pp19 - 35.

Related Subjects

Email Now

Insert previous message below for editing? 
You haven’t included a message. Providing a specific message means universities will take your enquiry more seriously and helps them provide the information you need.
Why not add a message here
* required field
Send a copy to me for my own records.

Your enquiry has been emailed successfully

FindAPhD. Copyright 2005-2019
All rights reserved.