Curator of Art and Iconography at the Royal Academy of Music’s Museum from 2001, and Bicentenary Research Fellow 2016 to 2019
Janet's research specialisms include Georgian and early Victorian art; artists, and composers of popular song; child musicians and portraiture; and illustrated sheet music covers. She has a particular interest in the history of the Academy.
Janet’s research covers two main areas. The first is popular music and the interrelationship of performers, composers, poets and artists in the late Regency and early Victorian period. The second comprises ongoing work on British musical and theatrical prodigies between 1750 and 1840, explored through patronage, portraits, popular prints, the relationship between artists, parents and the child, children’s well-being, and general ephemera.
The foundation of the Academy and its early students is also explored. As well as researching aspects of the Academy’s collections, including its history and historic alumni, projects in recent years have focused on the Academy Museum exhibitions ‘Charles Dickens and Music’ and ‘War Music: Notes from the First World War’. Janet has led public events comprising performances and talks linked to both of these projects.
Her publications include numerous research articles and a book about John Orlando Parry, the popular Victorian baritone, entertainer and artist. ‘John Orlando Parry and Charles Dickens: some connections’ featured in The Dickensian. ‘The left and right hands of the eighteenth-century British musical prodigies, William Crotch and Samuel Wesley’ appeared in Laterality: Asymmetries of Body, Brain and Cognition, as well as a co-authored paper with Professor Chris McManus (UCL) in the same issue, ‘A left-handed compliment: A newly-discovered, early 19th-century lithograph by J. Lewis Marks’.
Janet's work 'That Wondrous Child: William Crotch, the musical phaenomenon' was published in the Foundling Museum exhibition catalogue for Hogarth’s Children. King and Country: the coronation medals of George III was published in the British Art Medal Society periodical The Medal. A research report on the first Australian made-for-television musical 'Pardon Miss Westcott' appeared in the University of Bristol Music Department’s CHOMBEC News.