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Profile summary

  • Professor of Architectural and Design History
  • Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
  • School of Art His, Class St, Eng&CW, Mus
  • Art History
  • elizabeth.mckellar

Professional biography

Elizabeth McKellar is an architectural historian specialising in seventeenth and eighteenth-century British architecture and culture. She has a particular interest in London’s history and buildings and was a member of the Editorial Committee of the London Journal from 2000-2010. She received a Leverhulme Research Fellowship in 2011-12 to complete her book Landscapes of London: the City, the Country, and the Suburbs 1660-1840  which is to be published to be published by Yale University Press and the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art in October 2013. She also writes regularly on architectural and design historiography particularly that of the late nineteenth and twentieth century. She is currently researching histories and perceptions of Neo-Georgian architecture and design and is one of the co-editors of a forthcoming international volume on the subject. She has previously held posts at the Victoria and Albert Museum and Birkbeck College.

Research interests

Elizabeth McKellar has supervised a number of research students and particularly welcomes applications in the areas of: architectural history - especially British and early modern; urban history; and British eighteenth-century cultural history.

Selected Publications


The Birth of Modern London: the development and design of the city, 1660-1720, (Manchester University Press, 1999)
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Co-editor with Barbara Arciszewska, Articulating British Classicism: New Approaches to Eighteenth-Century Architecture, Aldershot & Burlington, VT, Ashgate, 2004
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‘C. H. B. Quennell (1872-1935): Architecture, History and the Quest for the Modern’, Architectural History: Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain, 50, 2007, 211-46

‘Representing the Georgian: Constructing Interiors in Early Twentieth Century Publications, 1890-1930’, Journal of Design History, 20:4, 2007, 325-44

‘Popularism versus professionalism: John Summerson and the twentieth-century creation of the “Georgian”’, in Barbara Arciszewska and Elizabeth McKellar (eds), Articulating British Classicism: New Approaches to Eighteenth-Century Architecture, (Ashgate, 2004), 35-56

‘Peripheral Visions: alternative aspects and rural presences in mid-eighteenth century London’, Art History, 22:4, 1999, 495-513

‘The City and the Country: the London vernacular in the Late Seventeenth and Early Eighteenth Century’, in Neil Burton (ed.), Georgian Vernacular, (The Georgian Group, 1996), 10-18

‘Architectural History: The Invisible Subject’, The Architecture Journal, 1:2, 1996, 159-64

Teaching interests

Teaching contributions to Open University courses include a section on Pugin for AA100 The Arts Past and Present, a chapter on the contemporary presentation of Blenheim Palace to AD281 Understanding Global Heritage, as well as a section on ‘The Metropolitan Urban Renaissance: London 1660-1760’ for course A226 Exploring Art and Visual Culture.

Research Activity

Research groups

NameTypeParent Unit
Material Cultures Research GroupGroupFaculty of Arts


Externally funded projects

Connected Communities & Design Highlight: Empowering Design Practices: historic places of worship as catalysts for connecting communities

RoleStart dateEnd dateFunding source
Co-investigator01/Oct/201430/Sep/2019AHRC (Arts & Humanities Research Council)
Empowering Design Practices is a five-year research project exploring historic places of worship and their potential as community resources. The project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and includes the following partners: The Open University, Historic England, the Historic Religious Buildings Alliance, Heritage Lottery Fund and The Glass-House Community Led Design. Through this collaboration, the project aims to explore how community-led design can help empower those who look after historic places of worship to create more open, vibrant and sustainable places that respect and enhance the heritage. The project also aims to build national capacity for community-led design practice by developing open educational resources and training for design students, communities, as well as the professionals and support bodies who work with them. More information:


Tales of two cities: architecture, print and early guidebooksto Paris and London (2013-07-05)
McKellar, Elizabeth
Humanities, 2(3) (pp. 328-350)
Tall buildings in the London landscape (2008)
Hebbert, Michael and McKellar, Elizabeth
The London Journal, 33(3) (pp. 199-200)
Representing the Georgian interior in the Early Twentieth Century, 1890-1930 (2007)
McKellar, Elizabeth
Journal of Design History, 20(4) (pp. 325-344)
C.H.B. Quennell (1872-1935): architecture, history and the quest for the modern (2007)
McKellar, Elizabeth
Architectural History, 50 (pp. 211-246)
Peripheral Visions: Alternative aspects and rural presences in mid-eighteenth-century London (1999)
McKellar, Elizabeth
Art History, 22(4) (pp. 495-513)
'Architectural History: The Invisible Subject' in The Architecture Journal (1996)
McKellar, Elizabeth
Journal of Architecture, 1(22) (pp. 159-164)
Landscapes of London: the City, the Country and the Suburbs, 1660-1840 (2013-12-03)
McKellar, Elizabeth
ISBN : 9780300109139 | Publisher : Yale University Press | Published : New Haven
Russell Square: a lifelong resource for teaching and learning (2005)
Clarke, Richard; McKellar, Elizabeth and Symes, Michael
Clarke, Richard; McKellar, Elizabeth and Symes, Michael eds.
Birkbeck FCE Occasional paper
ISBN : 907904238 | Publisher : Centre for European Protected Area Research (CEPAR), Birkbeck, University of London | Published : London
Articulating British classicism: New approaches in Eighteenth Century architecture (2004-08)
Arciszewska, Barbara and McKellar, Elizabeth
Reinterpreting classicism: culture, reaction and appropriation
ISBN : 754637352 | Publisher : Ashgate | Published : Aldershot, UK
The birth of modern London: The development and design of the city 1660-1720 (1999)
McKellar, Elizabeth
ISBN : 0 7190 4076 0 | Publisher : Manchester University Press | Published : Manchester, UK
Guides, guidebooks and visitors to London, c.1650-1730: metropolitan literature in its continental context (2016-01-06)
McKellar, Elizabeth
In: Arnold, Dana and Cohen, Jean-Louis eds. Paris et Londres s'observant 1670-1970
ISBN : 9782884746304 | Publisher : INHA & Infolio | Published : Paris
The villa: ideal type or vernacular variant? (2011)
McKellar, Elizabeth
In: Guillery, Peter ed. Built from Below: British Architecture and the Vernacular (pp. 49-72)
ISBN : 978-0-415-56532-5 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon
The suburban villa tradition in seventeenth and eighteenth-century London (2009)
McKellar, Elizabeth
In: Arciszewska, Barbara ed. The Baroque Villa: Suburban and Country Residencies c.1600-1800 (pp. 197-208)
ISBN : 978-8360959-76-3 | Publisher : Wilanow Palace Museum | Published : Warsaw
Popularism versus professionalism: John Summerson and the 20th-century creation of the 'Georgian' (2004-08-31)
McKellar, Elizabeth
In: Arciszewska, Barbara and McKellar, Elizabeth eds. Articulating British classicism: new approaches in Eighteenth-Century architecture. Reinterpreting Classicism: Culture, Reaction and Appropriation (pp. 35-56)
ISBN : 0-7546-3735-2 | Publisher : Ashgate | Published : Aldershot, UK
Peripheral Visions: Alternative aspects and rural presences in mid-eighteenth century London (1999)
McKellar, Elizabeth
In: Arnold, Dana ed. The Metropolis and its images: Constructing Identities for London, c. 1750-1950 (pp. 29-47)
ISBN : 0 631 21667 7 | Publisher : Blackwell | Published : Oxford, UK
The city and the country: the London vernacular in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century (1996)
McKellar, Elizabeth
In: Burton, Neil ed. Georgian Vernacular (pp. 10-18)
ISBN : 951746170 | Publisher : The Georgian Group | Published : London
Charles and Marjorie Quennell (2011)
McKellar, Elizabeth
Oxford University
Special Issue of the London Journal: Tall Buildings in the London Landscape (2008-11)
McKellar, Elizabeth and Hebbert, Michael
Maney Publishing, UK.