Photo of Mike J O'Mahony

Professor Mike J O'Mahony

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

  • BS8 1TB

1991 …2019

Research output per year

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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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Research Output

Olympic Visions: Images of the Games in History

O'Mahony, M. J., 2012, Reaktion Books Ltd. 176 p.

Research output: Book/ReportAuthored book

  • 3 Citations (Scopus)

    The art and artifice of early sports photography

    O'Mahony, M., 4 May 2019, In : Sport in Society: Cultures, Commerce, Media, Politics. 22, 5, p. 785-802 18 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

    Open Access
  • 113 Downloads (Pure)


    Invited Lecture: Match of the Day?: John Berger, David Sylvester and the Football and the Fine Arts Exhibition 1953

    Mike O'Mahony (Participant)

    19 Apr 2018

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesInvited talk

    The Visual Turn in Sports History

    Mike O'Mahony (Participant)

    18 Apr 2018

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesInvited talk

    Sport in Society: Cultures, Commerce, Media, Politics (Journal)

    Mike O'Mahony (Editor)

    1 Jan 20181 Jun 2018

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPublication peer-review

    Supervised Work

    Aeropittura, futurism and space in the 1930s : Continuity, innovation and reception

    Author: Sai, E., 2010

    Supervisor: O'Mahony, M. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Education (EdD)