Curatorial Research Assistant at Leighton House Museum: PhD student Ciarán Rua O'Neill (2016)

University of York PhD student Ciarán Rua O'Neill was a Curatorial Research Assistant at Leighton House Museum from April to November 2016. Here, Ciarán tells us about the experience and his role in the Leighton House Museum’s exhibition Flaming June: The Making of an Icon (November 2016 to April 2017) and its accompanying catalogue.

Ciarán’s PhD is on The Caryatid in Nineteenth-Century Britain, and he is supervised by Professor Elizabeth Prettejohn, who also contributed a chapter to the Flaming June exhibition catalogue.

Here, Ciarán talks about his experience at Leighton House Museum.


In my role as Curatorial Research Assistant, I assisted the Senior Curator of Leighton House, Daniel Robbins, in conducting research for the Flaming June: The Making of an Icon exhibition. Specifically, this involved preliminary background and archival research on the critical reception of Leighton's final Royal Academy submission, as well as general research on the artworks featuring in the exhibition, which necessitated contacting museums, galleries, and other institutions to obtain information regarding them.

Following this, I compiled the corresponding catalogue entries and the exhibition object list. I also helped source and acquire images for the exhibition catalogue and assisted more generally in its preparation.

Overall, it was an incredible experience to assist in the research for this exciting exhibition and share in the fascinating new discoveries that were made.

Exhibition catalogue: Flaming June (Leighton House Museum)

Exhibition catalogue - Flaming June: The Making of an Icon (Leighton House Museum)

Flaming June, by Frederic Leighton, 1895, Museo

Flaming June, by Frederic Leighton, 1895, oil on canvas, Museo de Arte de Ponce/The Luis A. Ferré Foundation, at the Leighton House Museum exhibition Flaming June: The Making of an Icon. Photo: ©Kevin Moran Photography; courtesy of Leighton House Museum

Frederic Leighton, oil Sketch for Flaming June, 1894-95 ©Private Collection, exhibited in Flaming June: The Making of an Icon: installation shot at Leighton House Museum. Photo: Kevin Moran. Courtesy: Leighton House Museum

Frederic Leighton, oil sketch for Flaming June, 1894-95 ©Private Collection, exhibited in Flaming June: The Making of an Icon: installation shot at Leighton House Museum. Photo: ©Kevin Moran. Courtesy: Leighton House Museum

Flaming June: The Making of an Icon, installation shot at Leighton House Museum.

Flaming June: The Making of an Icon, installation shot at Leighton House Museum. Photo: ©Kevin Moran. Courtesy: Leighton House Museum

[Published March 2016]

View all students