Professor Mike J O'Mahony

B.A., Ph.D.(Lond.)

  • BS8 1TB

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Personal profile

Research interests

Mike O'Mahony studied at the Courtauld Institute of Art (BA 1991, PhD 1998). His thesis examined representations of sport and physical culture in official Soviet art during the inter-war years. Before joining the University of Bristol in 2000 he taught modern art at many institutions including Winchester School of Art and the Courtauld Institute of Art. He has also lectured at many London museums and galleries including the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Tate Gallery, the Hayward Gallery, the Barbican Art Gallery, the Royal Academy of Arts and the Courtauld Gallery.


His recent research and publications have focused on the visual culture of sport and the Olympic Games. This has extended his original research interests in representations of sport and physical culture in official and unofficial Soviet art to the wider international arena. He also continues to research the visual and material culture of Russia and the Soviet Union, where he has particular interests in the design programmes of the Moscow metro; the work of Aleksandr Deineka; the films of Sergei Eisenstein; and the fate of Soviet public monuments in the post-Soviet era. He has recently completed a two-year Leverhulme Research Fellowship studying the relationships between sport and its representation in visual culture with particular emphasis on the Olympic Games. His next project will be examining photography and sport.

Research Supervision

Mike O'Mahony welcomes applications from students undertaking research into the representation of sport in western art and popular culture; Soviet and Post-Soviet visual culture; the role of public monuments in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries; the relationship between art and film; and other areas of twentieth-century art practices.


Mike O'Mahony teaches units across all years of the BA, MA and Post Graduate Research programmes. He offers specialist units on Cold War Culture, Art in Russia and the Soviet Union and the representation of sport and physical culture. He also oversees the 'Introduction to Modern Art' first year unit and contributes to units adressing the histories and theories of art.




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