Sophie Berrebi
Rita Bolland Fellow | 2018

Sophie Berrebi

Sophie was a Rita Bolland Fellow at the RCMC for two months in 2018.


Sophie Berrebi is UD1 / associate professor in the History and Theory of Modern and Contemporary Art at the University of Amsterdam. She also holds a PhD at the Courtauld Institute of Art (University of London). Sophie is currently working on a new book entitled Elements of Fashion. Icons, Gestures, Details.(Valiz, Amsterdam, 2019). This project is an investigation into clothes and how they are worn, involving visual culture, ethnography, art history and fashion studies. This also relates to her research for her current fellowship by invitation of the RCMC in Leiden. 

Bridging art and ethnography

Together with the Curator of Popular Culture and Fashion, Daan van Dartel, Sophie wants to create a bridge between art and ethnography by focussing on fashion. Fashion circulates across time and space and is an accumulation of different cultures, according to Sophie. She aims to take a global approach by looking into particular pieces in the collection like the head wrap, the necktie and the Breton shirt captured in photographs. Starting from the here and now and looking back in time and across different cultures, the idea is to explore the imaginary clothing, taking specific objects from the collection as starting points. During the fellowship, Sophie’s research into the collection will yield short text pieces concerning her encounter with objects, which will be published on our open space. She will conclude her fellowship with a public lecture that will present the result of her research and introduce elements that will be developed in her book.

Dr. Sophie Berrebi has published widely on contemporary art, film, photography and on the work of Jean Dubuffet in journals, magazines and books, and regularly curates exhibitions. Visit her website to read more. 

Sailor shirts and Photographs: A 'Research Diary'

After her fellowship ended, Sophie wrote a piece for the RCMC Open Space, which you can read here.

Sailor shirts and ethnographic photographs

Rita Boland Fellowship

The Rita Bolland Fellowship invites researchers who have projects that explore questions related to the NMVW textile(s) and dress collection.

Read more about the fellowship here.