Dr Tom Flynn

School: School of Critical Studies and Creative Industries
Position: Senior Lecturer


Tom Flynn studied Art History at Sussex University and holds an MA in Design History from the joint course at the Royal College of Art and the Victoria & Albert Museum. He wrote his doctoral thesis at Sussex University on nineteenth-century critical reactions to the chryselephantine sculpture of antiquity. Before entering academia, he was a fine art auctioneer and valuer and later an art market journalist. He has been a director of a number of online art market companies and is a member of the International Association of Art Critics. He is course director of the MA in Art Market Appraisal (Professional Practice), which is based in the School of Art and Design History.

Research expertise

Flynn's main research interests are in the history of the European art market, and cultural heritage and the impact of encyclopedic museums on the movement of cultural objects. His professional interests also include the professional practices of the global art market and the ways in which the art market impacts on artists' working lives, particularly sculptors.

Teaching areas & responsibilities

Course Leader, MA Art Market Appraisal (Professional Practice)

Professional activity

  • 2012 - 2014Fellow, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
  • 2010 - presentVisiting Lecturer, Christie's Education; Sotheby's Institute; Lecturer, External Examiner, Institut des Études Supérieures des Arts.
  • 2009 - presentVisiting lecturer, ARCA (Association for Research into Crimes Against Art) Postgraduate Certificate in Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection Studies, Amelia, Italy.
  • 2009 - presentConsultant, British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles

Educational and professional qualifications

  • 1996DPhil University of Sussex
  • 1990MA(RCA) Royal College of Art/Victoria & Albert Museum Joint Course
  • 1987BA(Hons) First Class Art History, Sussex University

Conferences & events

Paper: 'Taming the Tusk: The Revival of Chryselephantine Sculpture in Belgium in the 1890s' ' Colonialism and the Object, (co-convened with Dr Tim Barringer, Association of Art Historians AAH Conference, London, Victoria and Albert Museum, 1995;

Paper: 'Sculpture-Fetish-Thing': Psychoanalysis and the Identity of the Sculptural Object, Association of Art Historians (AAH) Conference, Exeter, 1998;

Conference convenor (with Dr Michelle O'Malley) 'Rodin and his Connections with the United Kingdom', University of Sussex, 1998;

Chair: 'Who's the Artist' (Public Open Forum), Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, January 2010;

Paper: 'The Universal Museum and the Primordial Accumulation of Capital', The Potosí Principle (Das Potosí Princip), Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, October 2010;

Chair: 'Sculpture and Commerce: the Corruption of Value?' (Public Open Forum) Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, November 2010;

Paper: 'The Parthenon Marbles: An Ethical Approach', Swedish Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles, Stockholm, 2010;

Paper: 'Artists and War', Artists & Writers Against CIA Drone Strikes, conference, Dorset, July 2011;

Paper: 'Transparency: Who Needs it?', Trust & Transparency conference, Sotheby's Institute of Art, 2013;

Paper: 'Changing Technology in the Art World', Business Management in the Art World, symposium, Sotheby's Institute of Art, 2014;

Paper: 'The Universal Museum: A Valid Model for the Twenty-First Century?' Colloquy on the Parthenon Marbles, Hellenic Centre, London, June 2012;

Paper: 'The Parthenon Marbles: A European Concern', Round Table, European Parliament, Brussels, October 2013;

Paper: 'The Global Art Market: The Outlook for Mid-Career Artists' Conference, University of Nanjing, China, October 2014, (forthcoming).


Consultant to British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles; Various non-profit consultancy activities working with emerging and mid-career sculptors and their markets.


Number of items: 4.

Book Section

Flynn, Thomas (2014) Fear of cultural objects. In: Sandis, Constantine, (ed.) Cultural heritage ethics: between theory and practice. Cambridge, U.K. : Open Book Publishers. pp. 135-148. ISBN 9781783740673

Flynn, Thomas (2014) Negotiating authenticity: contrasting value systems and associated risk in the global art market. In: Dempster, Anna M., (ed.) Risk and uncertainty in the art world. London, U.K. : Bloomsbury. pp. 109-124. ISBN 9781472902900

Flynn, Thomas (2014) The Parthenon marbles: an opportunity to foster cultural unity in a divided world. In: van Gene-Saillet, Patricia, (ed.) The reunification of the Parthenon marbles: a European concern. Brussels, Belgium : Editions Bruylant. pp. 33-36. (Collection du Centre Européen de la Culture) ISBN 9782802747246

Conference or Workshop Item

Flynn, Thomas [Speaker] (2013) The Parthenon marbles: a European concern. In: A European Parliament round table discussion on: The reunification of the Parthenon Marbles – a European concern; 15 Oct 2013, Brussels, Belgium. (Unpublished)

This list was generated on Mon Jun 26 04:20:37 2017 BST.
The Body in Sculpture, Tom Flynn
Colonialism and the Object, Edited by Tim Barringer & Tom Flynn.
Terence Coventry, Hands On, Tom Flynn