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Murray Bequest

Peter Murray was Professor of History of Art at Birkbeck from 1967 to 1980, and one of the principal founder members of the Association of Art Historians.

He was responsible for establishing history of art as an undergraduate discipline in the College, following Sir Nikolaus Pevsner's teaching of the subject outside a departmental structure.

When he died in 1992, his widow Linda Murray (a distinguished art historian in her own right) established a Bequest to provide funds for student support, research travel and other activities in the then Department of History of Art.

One of these activities has been the biennial Murray Memorial Lecture, which has been delivered by such notable figures as Jonathan Miller, Simon Schama, Neil Macgregor and Christopher Fraying. The last lecture, in March 2016, was given by Professor Professor Patricia Rubin, Judy and Michael Steinhardt Director at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University: ‘Bent Elbows, Bare Bottoms, and Bending Meanings: Shifting Perspectives on Viewing the Male Body in Art’.

The Murray Bequest also funds the Murray Research Studentship, based in the Department of History of Art in the School of Arts. This PhD studentship supports part-time postgraduate research in the field of European Art or Architecture of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. It covers part-time home/EU fees and a bursary of £5,000 per annum for a period of five years. For further details, please see here.